Gramont lies on the border between the Tarn-et-Garonne and Gers departments, overlooking the Arratz valley. It is a very old village whose first name was "Agrimonte", the high mountain.
Built in the early 13th century by the de Montaut family, a local noble family, the château follows the style of Gascon castles, modestly sized monuments also known as "towers-rooms".
The château belonged to Simon de Monfort, who led the Crusade against the Albigeo, a superb,is.
King Peter II of Spain lost his life at the Battle of Muret, won by Simon de Monfort, who himself perished during the siege of Toulouse in 1218.
The imposing Simon de Monfort tower remains from the 13th-century château, to which a vast dwelling was added in the 14th century. At the end of the 15th century, the Voisin family began construction of a Renaissance-style wing. Château de Gramont opens its richly furnished rooms to you, and invites you to relax in its formal gardens.
A must-see is the spiral staircase, with no core, which was a real architectural feat at the time.
The Honey Museum
After your visit, why not recharge your batteries at the Honey Museum. Two true bee lovers and specialists have brought together 150 hives, both ancient and modern, from all over Europe. The museum's staff also produce honey, sweets, beeswax, royal jelly and gingerbread.
The visit consists of 3 parts: the first is devoted to ancient French beekeeping, with an overview of the life of the bee and an exhibition on beeswax. The 20-minute video that follows shows a beekeeper's working season and the making of honey treats. In the last part, you'll take a trip around the world in the international exhibition, finishing with a tasting of different honeys and delicacies.
You can also shop on site.
And the mills...
Gramont was once home to 5 mills. People came from far and wide to grind their grain in one of the windmills or at the water mill on the Arrats river. The oil mill at the Manoir de Havarès enabled residents to produce edible walnut and hazelnut oils, and linseed oil for lighting.
In 1961, the château was bought by Roger and Marcelle Dichamp, a couple from the Auvergne. They undertook an initial restoration and moved into the château to save it from ruin. They took over the building and refurbished the interiors, refurnishing them with 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century furniture and objets d'art. They donated the property to the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites in 1979, and lived there until their deaths in 1984 and 2007 respectively.
Château de Gramont
Tel.: 05 63 04 05 26
Tel.: 05 63 94 00 20
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