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Château de Sauveterre Château de Sauveterre

A term of cultural and linguistic education in the South of France


The de Rességuier family owned an important fortified château near Sauveterre from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in the hills along the old Lombez to Simorre road. Religious wars, wars with the English and the power struggle between the houses of Armagnac and Astarac all lead to the destruction of this ancient home.

The family decided to build another Château, the main body of which was intended to be on on the lane which leads to Sauveterre village. The outbuildings were first and were very much as they are today with a chapel in the north wing and the living accommodation in the south wing. At the end of the eighteenth century only the north wing was completed and a start had been made on the south wing. The property was divided between Adrien and Jules de Rességuier on the deaths of their mother and father in 1801 and 1803 respectively.

First to marry was Adrien in 1806, followed by Jules who married Nina in 1811. In 1819 Jules decided to complete the work started by his father but in a far more modest way. The main part was never built and he altered the south wing giving it the impression of an Italian Villa.

This resulted in a simple house which apart from the roof, was a mirror of the other wing. In one of his poems written in 1836 he called it his “Petite Maison” in another his “Nouvelle Maison” . It was built in pink brick and some white stone but the façades between the columns were covered in Crépi, a white rendering that was the fashion in the region of Toulouse.

So, as the nineteenth century passed, Jules de Rességuier lived in his “Nouvelle Maison” until his death in 1862. When his wife Nina died in 1868, the property was divided between their sons Paul, Albert and Charles. Albert was the only one to have a child so his daughter Genevieve inherited Sauveterre. In 1865 she married Marquis Henri de Perignon and her turn in 1895 their daughter married Albert Danglade, a keen horseman and a Calvary officer in the First World War.

Albert Danglade was responsible for the construction of the large ground floor gallery and the grand staircase both of which allowed more light. He also built the bathrooms and the second floor of four bedrooms. Albert had a son, Jacques who died without any children in 1967. Jacques cousin and goddaughter Catherine de Perignon, while still a child inherited Sauveterre and sold it to the insurance company PRAGA in 1974 for seminars and for storage and records. They carried out important renovations to the house including repointing and reproofing.

Translated by Carolyn Blackmore from an Article found in the Sauveterre Library when Cothill bought the Château in 1989.

Kindly typed by Freddie Walker, Summer 2000