Arlempdes castle: ghost, montgolfier balloon and plunderings
Arlempdes’ name comes from a Gaulish word, Are Nemeton, meaning “sacred temple”, because a Roman camp used to exist near the castle: camp of Antoune.
This camp was haunted by a ghost, a white lady… maybe a noble lady from the fortress, who knows?
Arlempdes’ little stories
Diane de Poitiers
This ruined castle is located on a rock overlooking river Loire. We can see here a huge surrounding wall with cylindrical towers. Seigniorial dwellings and the farmyard were divided by a wall.
In the past, there also was a little Saint-Jacques chapel. The former fortress was mentioned in the 12th century. In 1248, it fell to the de Montlaur family.
In 1429, Anne de Montlaur inherited the fief and gave it to her new husband Charles de Poitiers. Their granddaughter was the famous Diane de Poitiers!
She took Arlempdes lady's title... The castle fell to Poitiers' descendants, families of Brézé, of La Marck and la Tour d'Auvergne.
Murders and tortures
In 1585, Antoine de La Garde, lord of Bouchet, besieged our fortress. Born in a local family who changed religion for Protestantism, Antoine bravely defended the place against the Catholics and kept the terror: murders, robberies, tortures…
After 5 years of nightmare, inhabitants of Arlempdes had enough: they killed him! And gave the place to the Catholics.
But then the castle was abandoned... and it sank into oblivion. Arlempdes went to ruins. In 1963, descendants of Arlempdes' lords restored the castle bit by bit.
The marquis’ hot-air-balloon
Did you know the marquis d’Arlempdes was the first man to fly in a montgolfier balloon, with his friend scientist Pilatre de Rozier, on November 21th 1783?
The scene took place in castle of La Muette, to the west of Paris: the flight lasted 20 minutes and took them to the Buttes-aux-Cailles (current 13th arrondissement, south-east of Paris).
The marquis was François-Laurent d’Arlandes, born in 1734. He died in the complete misery, in 1809… completely ruined and heavily in debt, because of his experiences and his love for science!