Created in 1792, the Château Saint-Antoine is a large bastide in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille inspired by Italian palaces. The residence, mentioned in Marcel Pagnol's "Le Château de ma mère" is the memory of the heroic commander de Robien, one of the owners in 1907.
Property of the city for decades, training centre of the GIGN, the Château had been abandoned since 1988 despite the fight of an association led by Frédéric Lafage and his sister Gaëlle.
In November 2016 the foundation stone of an ambitious 7 million euro Masonic temple of the Grand Lodge of France was laid announcing the renewal of Saint-Antoine in 2019.
A little history...
In 1762 Joseph d'Isoard, a lawyer, bought "La Miniarde", a property located east of the Barasse.
His heir, Jean-Baptiste d'Isoard, enlarged it by acquiring in 1792 the neighbouring property known as "La Rousse". In place of the old Miniarde, he built the central part of the current residence and gave it the name "La Rousse". Then in 1812, he grouped together a whole series of lands south of La Maussane separated from the estate by the road to Aubagne.
In 1842, Louis d'Alayer de Costemore bought the estate from François Philippe in 1867 and sold it to Joseph Blanc in 1894.
Count Guy de Robien or more precisely his wife Marguerite Marie Blanche Halna du Fretay bought the property in 1907 and added two wings. He renamed the house "Château Saint-Antoine". He affixed his coat of arms consisting of a crown, two lions, a coat of arms stamped with ten elements, a motto that says "Without Vanity Nor Weakness", and finally the name of Roch Bihan.
From 1921 to 1931, it was the property of Xavier Fine, a businessman and his wife who raised their thirteen children there. The castle is then called "Saint-Menet".
Then the castle was acquired by the electrochemical company of La Barasse which kept it in its state by assigning it to the works of its staff.
After the closure of the factories in 1988, the castle was bought by the City of Marseille.
Freemasons save the castle Saint-Antoine
Almost abandoned and in ruins, the Château de Saint-Antoine owes its revival to the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of France.
Cramped in their temple boulevard Rabatau, proposed a project for a masonic temple on the 2000 m² of the building on an estate of 13000 m² to accommodate 8 temples, 80 lodges.
A truncated pyramid, very modern, now houses the 400-seat temple, adjoining the renovated castle. In November 2016 the foundation stone of this 7 million euro project was laid announcing the renewal of Saint Anthony.
Saint Antoine castle
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