The Castle of Cabrières romantico medieval, former property of Emma Calvé

Perched on a rocky peak, a short distance from the village of Compeyre, the Château de Cabrières has fascinated young and old alike for many generations.

This secondary fortress, built in the 12th century, later became a ceremonial castle, which gained all its splendour in the 15th century, with its two towers framing a square keep.

Located on the left bank of the Lumensonesque, this castle is composed of a rectangular main building of the XIIth century, framed by two towers and a square keep which are mainly of the XVth century. It has four floors plus attics and three large terraces.


A little bit of History...

We find his trace as early as 1070, then in 1260 belonging to Ricard, damoiseau, who claimed to hold the Count Alphonse.

Then in 1431, when a garrison under the orders of the lord of Loupiac and the count of Armagnac is set up to hunt the truckers.

The castle has also known many conflicts, in particular the "Hundred Years War", then the wars of religion which were fierce in the region: it is also probable that Cathars had secretly inhabited it long before.

It passed into the ownership of several families: Montvallat, Calmont, Jory, Foucras, Barthélémy, Cahuzac, Carbon, and Buscarlet to become the property of Emma Calvé in 1900.


Emma Calvé owner

Bought in 1894 by Emma Calvé, the estate was the subject of many fantasies.

It was completely restored in 1895 by Emma Calvé who added a wing, opened mullioned windows, then raised and covered the towers, giving it its romantic air. She also created a park and terraces from which she could make her vocalizations .

She also created a singing school in the castle.

Known for her dynamic personality, passionate about Hinduism and occultism, she passes to frequent the cabaret of the Black Cat, in Paris, in company of Alfons Mucha, of Papus, who in 1893 initiates her to Martinism, at the same time as Camille Flammarion and the writer Jules Bois with whom she lives a long tumultuous relationship.

The singer would have frequented the mysterious abbot Bérenger Saunière, priest of the Aude village of Rennes-le-Château.

According to Gérard de Sède, the priest met her during his trip to Paris to decipher the parchments found in the church of Marie-Madeleine.

They would have met again in the Aude. Nevertheless, no formal proof comes to attest this connection.

She later sold the castle to an industrialist who was a glove-maker.


A tumultuous past and... the reopening

For more than three decades, Cabrières had closed its doors and only a privileged few had the opportunity to pass through the gates of the majestic building.

Then it became the property of the Guibert-Chabrol family, who maintain it in a remarkable state with a beautiful two-hectare park and water features.

By opening the castle to visitors during the Heritage Days, the new owners wanted to show their desire to see the estate come to life again.

The former head of the company, who was also one of the national reference points for professional training, took the crazy gamble of transforming the old place, so secret, into a temple of events.



At the end of the 19th century, the occultists who were friends of Emma Calvé were said to turn tables there.

It is not impossible that ghosts still haunt the castle because on full moon nights, one can still hear the sound of chains.


Cabrières Castle

12520 Compeyre



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To go further....

Emma Calve, diva du siècle

The Complete Known Issued Recording

Diva-la Belle Epoque Calve,Emma

Emma Calvé, La Cantatrice sous tous les Ciels, Musique classique, Opéra, Aveyron, Millau, Decazeville, Midi Pyrénées

Cette immense soprano, fut une star avant l'heure, par son talent, sa renommée, ses fureurs. Elle en précéda d'autres par ses lubies et ses excentricités : Joséphine Baker et son château sur la Dordogne ou Georges Harrisson et John Lennon avec leurs mages Hindous. Emma avait elle son mage swanni, et tâta des sciences occultes. Ce rossignol né à Decazeville en 1858 fut, à son époque qualifiée de Belle, aussi célèbre que ne le fut la Callas soixante ans plus tard. Massenet écrivit des opéras pour Emma tels que Sapho. Quant à Carmen , jamais Soprano au monde ne l'interpréta autant de fois. L'Amérique la vénérait.

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