Thursday, October 6, 2011

***An Unexpected Trip - Chateau de Cas***

Ever have one of these days that turn out to be completely different to what you had planned? Well yesterday for me was just that. I went to a friend’s house to lend a hand to do a bit of painting, which I duly did, on the way home I popped in to say a quick hello to a lady I had met just a few days ago. There was a delicious smell coming from the kitchen and she invited me to eat with her, how could I refuse! So over lunch (which was a frittata) a very tasty form off Spanish omelet, she then asked if I fancied a run up to see a house she might be interested in buying on the banks of the Aveyron near St Antonin-Noble-Val. I was in paint splattered shorts and equally splattered t-shirt and said I will have to come like this though! Fine she said we won’t see anyone so who cares!

So off we went, eventually found the house and to cut a long story short, to isolated and not what she was looking for. However, as we were leaving we saw a sign which read “Chateau de Cas” Lets go and have a quick look? Ok, I replied but I am not going in dressed like this, probably be closed anyway.

As we entered the car park there was a charming couple waving to us! We looked at each other and we had to get out of the car, the couple shook our hands, (the paint on my hands was fortunately by this stage dry). They looked us both straight in the eyes and were thrilled that they had captured/gained two visitors and did not bat an eyelid as to what I was wearing.
2.5 hours later! I kid you not, we were back out in the sunlight after the most amazing tour I have ever experienced, the guy knew the place and history inside out and was in love with it.

Briefly, the Chateau is on the outskirts of Caylus and was built in the 9th century on a site occupied by the Gallo-Romans, it suffered severe damage during the French revolution. It was then restored at the end of the 19th century and was again sacked during the Second World War and was then abandoned until 1979 where the current owners who are the descendants of Claude-Marie de Saint-Jak Lastic again raised it from its ruins and opened it to the public.

The building has undergone over the centuries many architectural modifications and some stones still remain from the 9th century. As for its interior, it was designed to present the evolution of styles from Louis XIII. Stunning interior which is enriched by many family memories, allowing us to imagine life in Cas over the centuries. So if you ever find yourself (covered in paint or not) anywhere near this beautiful Chateau I highly recommend a visit.

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