The Donjon Lacataye is the keep of a 14th-century castle, constructed by order of Gaston Phébus in the commune of Mont-de-Marsan.
La Cataye consists of two joined Romanesque houses, which one sees perfectly while entering the current museum whose central internal wall includes Romanesque windows, a sign that one of the two houses was built before the second. These houses belonged to the Viscount's family and were more or less abandoned starting from the 15th century, when the Viscounts moved away from their town of origin. During the 16th century, their upper parts were modified and they were equipped with crenellations.
In 1860, Antoine Lacaze, mayor and owner of the keep, gave it to the town to house troops. It later became the departmental barracks until 1875, when the soldiers moved to the Bosquet barracks in the town. The keep preserved the name Caserne Lacaze (Lacaze Barracks) for nearly a century, in spite of a succession of civil uses: boarding school for young girls, gymnastics centre, municipal workshop.
In 1968, mayor Charles Lamarque-Cando inaugurated in the keep a museum of modern figurative sculpture (the Musée de Mont-de-Marsan), dedicated to two local artists, Charles Despiau and Robert Wlérick.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.