Assézat, the mayor who had a narrow escape

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The courtyard - ©Raphael.crochet / CC-BY-SA The courtyard - ©Raphael.crochet / CC-BY-SA
Assézat townhouse Town house Nicolas Bachelier Wars of Religion

It's a real little castle in middle of Toulouse city! In 1552, Pierre Assézat, a rich merchant of pastels, was a city councillor, a capitoul as we said in Toulouse. He was lord of Dussède, and he raised this beautiful house in order to show his social success.

It was built by architect Nicolas Bachelier, who was inspired by the Louvre courtyard, in Paris. In 1555, the building works of the two wings and the square tower made progress. But war of Religion began and the building works were suspended.

In 1560, all the capitouls, Assézat included, converted to Protestantism. A pretty bad idea! Parliament of Toulouse arrested them the same year, condemned them to "perpetual banishment", to "100 000 livres fine", to seizure of all their goods, to the destruction of their coat of arms sculpted on their houses.

Assézat was under sentence of death then he was reprieved: the king forgave him and Assézat converted to Catholicism in 1572. He get his house back in Toulouse but didn't finish the building of the two wings... because this trial ruined our Assézat!

His descendants get back their coat of arms and occupied posts in Toulouse Parliament until the 18th century. Then the house fell to the baron de Puymartin in 1761, who altered the mullioned windows and re-laid out the apartments. The house became the property of a rich banker, Théodore Ozenne, who gave it to the city of Toulouse when he passed away, on condition that the Learned Societies (Sociétés savantes) set up here.


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