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With two towers pointed towards the sky, the Château Lachièze announces its medieval origins and defensive character from the outset. Over time, other buildings have come together around their reassuring height to form a set of welcoming homes. Twenty years of hard work have revived this neglected property and kept the memory of a beautiful story alive. The story being that of the "Dames de Mirepoix" who dedicated their lives to teaching the poor in the oldest of the towers. Today, there is no doubt that lovers of nature and culture will find everything they need here and in the surrounding areas to make the most of their stay.
At the request of my children, we were looking for a spacious family home to the south of the Loire. I also wanted to find somewhere with a stone spiral staircase in the internal layout. Three years of searching finally came to fruition when we found a chateau of minor nobility, partly in ruins, but with great potential for converting it into independent guest houses. The property therefore chose the region for us!
The "Tower of the Ladies of Mirepoix" is the oldest part of the chateau. Dating back to the 11th century, the property was formerly used as a hunting lodge by the Vicomte de Turenne. It was built with 1.35m-thick walls packed with stone to better withstand the the blows of cannonballs. A latrine, two French ceilings and three medieval stone staircases have been preserved. In a stairway tower leading to the chateau - the main dwelling - an unusual feature is the extension of the tower over two levels with a small round room that was used to store the parchments and various tax exemption privileges - partial or total - granted by the lord of Turenne. This period elevation is served by the third stone staircase which is particularly narrow. These unique scrolls were to be stored in "well-known rooms away from water and fire" with a second room above for permanent access to the control tower and the establishment of temporary protection.
In 1540, Jean Lachièze, having grown up in the young Turenne's Areopagus, swore allegiance to the Vicomte de Turenne. The latter allowed him to build a fortified house near his hunting lodge. He collected taxes on behalf of the viscount. A century and a half later, Château Lachièze was at its peak in terms of construction with five thousand tons of stone grouped in a fortified construction around a small inner courtyard. The chateau was considered an "impregnable haunt", and its occupants, the lords of Lachièze, were the all-powerful guardians of the hunting lodge and the taxes collected on behalf of Turenne.
With the Dordogne just five hundred metres away and on the edge of the Regional Natural Park of Causses du Quercy, our guests can enjoy the absolute calm of the countryside on a panoramic site overlooking the valley, the limestone cliffs and the hills. Once a week they are invited to get to know each other during a cocktail party (children are also welcome). With respect for the rules, they can participate in a SPA session and swim against the current. Guests can also enjoy discounts at many attractions in the region by presenting their "Gîtes de France du Lot" key ring when paying.
The markets selling regional products take place in Souillac on Friday morning, in the old hall square and Martel on Wednesday, and beneath the hall on Saturday morning. La Campagnoise Creysse is a small producer of foie gras from the South West that uses only local products with no additives. In Martel, the Bouriettes is also a great producer of foie gras. The list of restaurants could be lengthy, but we have narrowed it down to Le pont de l’Ouysse in Lacave and the Terrace in Meyronne.
The chateau, gites and gardens are open to professionals for filming and photo shoots. Accommodation can be arranged in the gites.