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:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.