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Chateau de Lavardenstourist information guide
Address: Lavardens, 32360
Tel: +33 (0)5 62 58 10 61
Opening Times: All year except 15 Jan-15 Feb | Admission Charge
Chateau de Lavardens is perched high up overlooking a valley and some of the most picturesque countryside of the Gers. It's not hard to see why Chateau de Lavardens is one of the most visited attractions in the Gers.
The architecture of Chateau de Lavardens is a strange mix. From the outside, its facade gives off a somewhat oriental/eastern feel with its square, solid towers standing in sharp contrast.
Chateau de Lavardens was once the military stronghold for the Counts of Armagnac (until the 12th-century). Following their reign, there were three fires which nearly destroyed the castle. However, Chateau de Lavardens survived until 1496 when King Charles VIII finally ordered it to be destroyed.
Chateau de Lavardens became the property of the Albret family and later Henri de Navarre (future King of England). It was Henri de Navarre who bequeathed the castle to Antoine de Roquelaure in 1585. De Roquelaure, despite his 75 years, was madly in love with Suzanne de Bassabat. It was largely for Suzanne that de Roquelaure undertook a large scale renovation project of the castle. Once finished, Chateau de Lavardens was a superb summer residence despite its strange mix of austere and elegant architecture.
Mirabeau acquired Chateau de Lavardens in 1752 but left the Gers 10 years later for his home town of Aix-en-Provence.
After the Revolution, Chateau de Lavardens was sold to twelve families who struggled with the upkeep of the building. Luckily, it was saved by a handful of historians/chateaux lovers in the 1960s. Every year, events are held at Chateau de Lavardens including music concerts and art exhibitions so its well worth the detour.