Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chateau de Cabrerets

The Chateau de Cabrerets is first mentioned in 1259 as part of the holdings of the Barasc family eduer. Through the marriage of Helene de Barasc, its ownership transferred to the powerful Cardaillac family which held many of the villages and lands along the both Cele and the Lot river valleys. In time the village of Cabrerets and its Chateau were awarded to an important Cardaillac fief, Raymond de Gontaud. It became a Protestant stronghold during the Wars of Religion and its owner at that time, Jean Gontaud, was part of the force of Henri of Navarre that took Cahors from the Catholic bishops in 1580. During the Revolution years the Chateau was pillaged and devastated by locals. The Chateau's current owner, Philippe Sahut d'Izarn, a descendant of the illustrious Gontaud family, began restoring the Chateau in 1994 and is committed to maintaining it as an historic site. That's the history...you can read it on the internet. But what is it like to actually live in the Chateau as its owner and his wife do? Follow me...
First, you need a really big gate to keep out uninvited guests. Jean's been invited, though, so it's okay for her to enter the inner courtyard.
It's helpful to find a really old stone statue of the Virgin holding the Baby to sit in a niche in one of the courtyard walls. She can bless all who enter, Protestant and Catholic alike.
A beautiful entry door in a turret is necessary to impress your guests...
You might also want an interior saint in the tiny entrance foyer to bless those invited and deter those who might have gained entrance for evil purposes.
A billiard room is handy for entertainment on those long winter nights, and it makes a good place to display hunting trophies...

An open-air interior courtyard makes a nice place to admire the architecture...
enjoy the views of your village and the Cele River....
and give guided tours on patrimoine weekend...that's my friend, Greg on the far left.
Sometimes it's hard to give up your favorite chair or
leave the gallery library in the living room to greet guests, but
you know each tour group will want to see the tapestry covered walls of the dining room,
the medieval weapons hanging over the sculpted stone fireplace,
and discover the warmest place to sit in the winter.
Why would anyone wear metal sabots??

My guess is you're interested in seeing how the owners cook in this Chateau. That's a story for the next blog post!

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