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Legend and history

Chateau de Saint-Michel-de-Lanès

The goddess Athena watcthes over the castle

Beneath the enigmatic smile of the goddess Athena (whose Renaissance sculpture keeps eternal watch) the chateau with its grey slate roof and pale stone balustrades reigns over a spacious and leafy park, laid out over two centuries ago.In the heart of the medieval village of Saint Michel de Lanes with its verdant orchards and picturesque gardens, the chateau reflects the turbulent times that have shaped the history of the Lauragais.

A castle and its legends

A harmonious work of art the chateau has evolved through the ages from "a gentlemen's house" under Henry IV, attaining the status of manor house before finally becoming a chateau during the reign of Louis XVI. Legends of the chateau abound. One in particular tells of the tempestuous visit of Catherine de Médicis, Comtesse du Lauragais, who made a gift of the sculptures that adorn the façade of the chateau. In her memory the master bedroom bears the name of this dynamic queen. Other bas-reliefs decorate the chateau walls - fawns, gargoyles, garlands of flowers. Caught by the rays of the fading sun they create a truly fairytale atmosphere.
Seated amongst the ancient scented roses planted by our discerning predecessors guests will discover from the present owners the many romantic interludes that have marked the history of the chateau.

Bas-relief du château
The ladies of the castle

The anecdotes which live at the heart of the family legends are often told over drinks. The 'ladies' of the castle have left some touching memories.
For example, the charming Sophie Ardenne, the sister of Arnaud (the Audois ship-owner who took part in the American War of Independence) who discovering in 1762 thanks to the thwarted lovers of 'Nouvelle Heloise', that Rousseau a citizen of Geneva, was closer to the troubadours than the Huguenots. Another famous lady was the 'Comtesse de Monts', a widow with a maternal heart, who invited the children from the school to sumptuous tea parties; not to mention 'Louise de Baric', the great thirties equestrian. So many courageous and likeable women!

The street near the castlel during the last century