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Apollo's voice, rascal, poisoner: the Polignac family on their rock

The castle | Laurent Gouteyron / CC-BY-SA
Castle Robbery La Voûte-Polignac castle

Apollo’s truth

The rock where castle of Lavoûte stands was known since Roman era. At that time, we found a temple dedicated to Apollo. People came and asked questions at the foot of the rock, in a special room. Priests heard questions thanks to a pipe starting from the room and ending in the temple!

Héracle, king of the mountains!

The Polignac were the most powerful family in Auvergne. They lived in La Voûte since the 9th century. Did you know Héracle de Polignac, the ″king of the mountains″? Cruel, naughty, plundering all the area, the king finally caught him and condemned him to mend his ways, a candle in his hand, a rope around his neck, in front of Saint-Julien church of Brioude... Then he whipped himself in front of a flabbergasted crowd.

After parties, treaties!

In the 16th century, the castle looked like a big quadrilateral flanked by towers: it became a place of pomp and parties, where lord Armand XVI de Polignac invited king of France François I in 1536. Melchior de Polignac was born here in 1661: he was future cardinal and bishop of Auch, negotiator of treaty of Utrecht, which ended Spanish war of Succession.

Ladies’ stories

Someone wanted to poison madame de La Vallière, Louis XIV’s mistress! Two ladies of Lavoûte were compromised: Jacqueline de Grimoard du Roure and her daughter-in-law Marie-Armande de Rambures, lady-in-waiting of the Bavarian dauphine. The first one was exiled in Lavoûte: they even accused her of her own husband's poisoning!… What about the second one? Same thing!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!