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The Towers of Lenvège Château

 

The Towers of Lenvège Château
The château brings to mind the chivalrous Estissac family. It was built circa 1250 and served as a base for the first barony of Saussignac. In 1345 the château was attacked by the Count of Derby but was valiantly defended by Hélie Fergand, the second Seigneur d’Estissac, aided by a troop of Du Guesclin’s soldiers.
The ladies of Château de Lenvège have been mentioned in literature.
Rabelais stayed there.
Brantome fell in love - unrequited - with one of its chatelaines and wrote poetry for her.
Montaigne dedicated a chapter of his Essays to this same lady.


Saussignac Château

Saussignac Château
The parish of Saussignac was separated from the castellany of Bergerac and given to Hélie d’Estissac by Marguerite de Turenne in 1286.
Three centuries later the last d’Estissac was killed in his prime by Biron, the unfaithful friend of Henry IV of France, in a duel which remains famous to this day.
The bloody duel took place over a child of 12 - Anne de Caumont, perhaps the most eligible beauty of France, whose life reads like a veritable, tumultuous novel.

The Caumont-Lauzun family succeeded the d’Estissacs but the Duke of Lauzun’s father, who has gone down in history as an elegant lover, sold his Seigneury to Pierre d’Escodera of Boisse, one of the great soldiers of the reign of Louis XIII. It was he who began construction of the château but it was still incomplete when he was assassinated by Protestants in 1621 and, following his death, all work came to a halt. Building only resumed a century later and the château was, in fact, never finished.
The château, with its two huge wings and three main buildings with mansard roofs, occupies the highest part of the village with all the imposing grandeur typical of 17th century noble homes.
It had the title of barony and its jurisdiction included the five parishes which today make up the communes of Sigoulès (Dordogne), Saussignac, and Monestier and Razac.
The last real Seigneur of Saussignac was Emmanuel Louis, Marquis of Pont Saint Maurice, Lieutenant General and ambassador who played an important political role in the last few years of Louis XVI’s reign.

(Extract from ‘L’Histoire des Chateaux de France’ by Boisserie de Masmontet.)


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