Tourves Renaissance castleTourves Renaissance castle

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  • Off the path Explo
    72 %
    Off the path Explo rate
    Score
    3.6 / 5
    Comments
    This castle is locally renown. However, it is very off the path.
  • Article Quality
    80 %
    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Comments
      Very cool description and tips Penchinat!
    • Score
      3 / 5
      Comments
      Yes. Any plan to help Explorers to visit it when they are on spot?
    • Score
      2 / 5
      Comments
      Yes, 2 pics.
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Comments
      Yes!
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Comments
      Yes!
  • Explo Popularity
    %

A bucolic walk in the vestiges of a castle which was formerly an extraordinary place for art and party. Imagine yourself 2 centuries earlier...

My experience, Explo description: 

In 1767, Joseph Alphonse Omer de Valbelle transformed this medieval castle into a rich house capable of welcoming the French nobility of which he was a part. As he was a lover of letters, arts and luxury, he invited the biggest artists and the thinkers of the end of the XVIIIth century (Diderot, Voltaire, Clarion, Houdon) and organized extravagant receptions.

In 1776, he made build the colonnade of Greek style, which we can still see even nowadays, in front of which he played plays. In memory of his maternal grandfather, he made set up an obelisk of 24m of height, replica of that of Sextius in Rome. We can still read on it the marble plate which he made engrave for the occasion.

At the feet of the obelisk was a magnificent French-style park with aviary, Greek, Roman and Egyptians statues, exotic trees, pyramids, Chinese pagoda... The stables which adjoined the building were of a rare wealth and testified of its extravagance.

Unfortunately, the palace was destroyed at the French revolution (1793). The inhabitants of Tourves took the beautiful statues and the building materials for their own environments. As an example, the fountain of the of the city hall square is the urn which once decorated the garden, as well as the church baptistery, which is a former washbasin of the castle.

Of our days, by strolling in the middle of ruins, you can still observe survivors of the cultural and artistic wealth of the century of lights... You can still wonder of the importance of the walls of the building and raise the head up to see the summit of the obelisk. The colonnade is always there too.

My personal recommendations: 

Go the Caramy valley (the access road goes under the D205 road 200m (S) the castle, then drive about 3km (S)). This is a charming river, where you can swim, and have a nice walk going up the valley...

How getting there: 

The castle is perched on a little hill, about 500m (W) from the village centre square. Park your car on the car park, north side of the castle.

A tip to eat: 

You can eat in the village (charming centre square).

Useful information: 
Entry fees: 

The place is free.