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Heritage and follies Château de Castries Castries

Château de Castries

Between the garrigue and the Camargue, the Château de Castries is one of the symbols of the administrative development of Montpellier.

The building has superb French-style gardens designed by André Le Nôtre before he worked at Versailles. In addition to the gardens, some of the castle’s rooms are now open to visitors.

The little Versailles of the Languedoc

Luxuriating between the garrigue and the Camargue, the “little Versailles of
the Languedoc” opens its courtyard to its guests.

A young couple, Audrey and Philippe, are among the day’s visitors. They have come to explore this Folly, a magnificent symbol of Montpellier’s rising power in the 17th century.

The French-style garden was designed by Le Nôtre, gardener to King Louis XIV, and was supplied with water by an aqueduct, a listed monument, designed by Paul Riquet, engineer of the Canal du Midi.

The gardens and fountains were sumptuous before being destroyed during the revolution. From the main courtyard, you can access the large terraces offering a superb view of the star-shaped paths, the ponds and a landscape of vineyards.

History

Construction began in 1565 on the site of a gothic manor; Audrey and Philippe are impressed by the château’s Renaissance façade and austere architecture.

The creamy-white façade built of local stone contrasts with the deep blue sky, while the broad terraces offer a superb view:

We loved the paths in a star-shape and the ponds in the garden. And then further on, the dense vegetation and the vineyard landscape. You can’t help wondering how they keep it all so green.

The answer lies about 5 kilometres away, as the crow flies. The aqueduc de Castries, at the request of the owners of the château, brings water to the Orangerie, where it is then distributed to the kitchens on one side, and to the ornamental ponds on the other.

“It’s a wonderful discovery, the perfect place for a romantic walk,” the couple conclude, as they leave the château via the aqueduct road.

Practical information

Address

Rue du Château, Castries

Did you know?

Mozart composed a concerto for Marie-Adrienne de Guines, the future Duchess of Castries.

Idea for a walk

Take a walk under the aqueduct, created by Pierre-Paul Riquet, builder of the Canal du Midi.

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