The d’Albret in Pons castle: pigs' heads and booze-up

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César's dwelling house and keep - ©BACON62 / CC-BY-SA César's dwelling house and keep - ©BACON62 / CC-BY-SA
Pons keep Fortification César d'Albret

Plots and pigs’ heads

After lord of Pons died out, here was the family d’Albret who owned the land at the beginning of the 17th century: at that time, they raised the two main building framing the keep. César Phébus d'Albret, born in a noble family from Gascogne (king Henri IV's relatives), became the lord of Pons.

He flawless supported cardinal Mazarin and Anne of Austria during the Fronde rebellion, so he became a marshal of France, at the age of 40! Chronicler Saint-Simon described him as a “witty man, a plotter too”… Oooo, he loved plots! Gossips said that he get his marshal’s baton by plotting…

Marshal, you must be joking! People said at that time: one day, abbot d’Ammont rented a box in a theatre. The marshal stole it, under his very eyes! The abbot was angry, but said nothing, he even let him his box. Then, later, as a revenge, he said: “See, the handsome marshal, he only took me my box”…

A marshal who never made war, see? Well, writer Bussy-Rabutin told that he had… pigs’ head phobia! So, one day, as a joke, people said that in order to defeat him in a duel, we had to wave about a pig’s head in front of him! People laughed for months, in the Court…

Hiccup, she drank like a fish

His wife, Madeleine de Guénégaud, was pretty funny, too. She held her salon in Paris, rue des Francs-Bourgeois. But she had a weakness for drinking! A song said; “She loved the wine and drank like a fish”.

They even said that one day, she saw herself in a mirror, especially her red nose: “B-ut… where did I get that nose?” A friend answered: “In the sideboard”. (seen in the book Souvenirs et correspondance de madame de Caylus by Emile Raunié).

In the Summer 1652, César came back in Pons: Spanish armies and the Frondeurs damaged a lot the keep and the city. César restored them…


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