A little history of Montmaur castle
Alix d'Artaud de Montauban raised the first castle in the 11th century: err, castle, in fact, a big square keep later extended by a big quadrilateral.
From the middle of the 13th century, the Montauban family re-raised a brand new castle, a little further in the plaine.
And the Flotte family turned up, with the marriage of Antoinette Artaud de Montauban and Jean de Flotte, leader of the Protestant troops in the area.
He and his son Balthazar transformed the castle into a nice Renaissance residence: mullioned windows, corner turrets, gorgeous apartments flanked by vast chimneys as for instance the one in the Dance's room, made in 1589...
In the room called “Feast room”, we had mythological frescos...
But in 1662, Montmaur was sold to the d'Agoult family: bad luck, a fire destroyed the castle in 1688, 2 floors collapsed... The new owners restored it but didn't rebuild those floors...
Agoult’s heirs kept the castle until 1825, then the estate fell to the Taxis du Poët.
In 1941, the former officer Antoine Mauduit created here a reception centre for soldiers who escaped from Germany, helped by members of a secret society, la Chaîne, founded in 1942 with the future French president François Mitterrand.
Mauduit was arrested in 1944, then deported in Germany: he died from typhus just before the end of the war...
His last remains were buried in Montmaur in 1949: in 1996, François Mitterrand inaugurated a plaque in honour of his friend.
Nowadays, the castle, owned by the general council of Hautes-Alpes, houses exhibitions and shows.