A little history of Castellas castle
The legend says king of Franks and Occident emperor Charles the Bald raised the fortress, in the 9th century. Nowadays only remains a piece of the square tower... A tower Gausfredi family extended in the 11th century.
But Simon de Montfort turned up, in 1209! He led the Crusades against Cathars, with his army sent by pope Innocent III in order to fight heretics. Gausfredi lords didn’t want to paid homage to Montfort. Ooo, maybe those lords were Cathars? Anyway, all their goods were seized, Castellas included!
The fief was annexed by the French Crown in 1269, then fell to the De Taulignan in 1425. A man called Claude de Vignoles finally owned the castle in 1553. Vignoles family? Oh, maybe you know the famous La Hire... This soldier whose name was Etienne de Vignoles was Joan of Arc’s comrade in arms during Orléans siege!
In short... In 1618, Jacques de Vignoles, president in Parliament, transformed the Castellas: he opened huge windows; on corners, he added watchtowers with brackets flanked by Jacques de Vignoles and his wife’s portraits, Isabeau des Urcières. The building site ended in 1630.
Meanwhile, the area suffered from wars of Religion: the Vignoles were Protestants, they refused to change religion. They spent their life running away through Europe... Finally, the Castellas fell to Ginestous family in the beginning of the 18th century.
Sold during the Revolution, the last owner, Alexandre, count de Ganges, was guillotined. The castle was abandoned and transformed into a farm... But a fine day of 1794, Hantat family bought the Castellas! And restored it... Nowadays, we can visit it.