Château de Caumont consists of two buildings on a vast esplanade overlooking the Save river valley. The old castle built on the site of a fortified castle that belonged to Gaston Phoebus. The present Renaissance castle whose construction lasted from 1525 to 1535.
The castle sits on two levels of underground vaults, it is flanked by four strong towers so that openings and slits control the facades. Two octagonal towers are guarding the West side. One can observe four “pepper“ towers pepper which are located in the eastern and northern parts. The structure is alternating bricks and stones bands which allow light to play with much happiness.
U-shaped three wings are surrounding a beautiful courtyard recently restored. On the ground floor, divided windows open onto the courtyard. Upstairs, windows have with less divisions . The beautiful front door opens onto a staircase according to the Florentine fashion adorned with vaulted bays alternating three classical Greek building methods . In the courtyard on the north wing, on the first floor on can find a shuttle race representing a fairly typical outdoor works of Mr Bachelier as found at the Hotel d'Assezat in Toulouse. This shuttle race, where one has a nice view over the park and Cedars trees of Lebanon, can reach the courtyard by a spiral staircase of the sixteenth century.
On the first floor, a Romantic chapel with a beautiful stained glass window designed by Master Marechal, who also signed the windows of the Fourviere Basilica in Lyon. In the north wing, the room where the King Henri III of Navarre, the future Henry IV, stayed. Pierre de Nogaret de La Valette Nogaret built the present castle on his return from Italy wars he made with Francis 1. His grand-son, Jean-Louis de Nogaret de La Valette Nogaret was born there in 1554 and became Duke of Epernon thanks to Henry III he served before Henri IV and Louis XIII. Then he endured a less favorable period as Richelieu, who feared him much, sequestered all his possessions - including the Cadillac castle - and had him locked in Loches dungeons, where he died at the age of 88. Caumont castle escaped this fate as the Duke of Epernon had already given it to one of his sons.
In the nineteenth century, Armand, Marquis de Castelbajac, lived between the campaigns of the Napoléon Grand Army. He then left with his wife, Sophie de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, as Ambassador to St. Petersburg in Russia during Napoleon III reign. Then, Senator of the Empire and President of the General Council of Gers department, he devoted the rest of his life to this department. Today, the old castle and an orangery were restored and converted into reception rooms used for special occasions: weddings, seminars, exhibitions, etc.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.