Crussol castle: a legend, a hydra... and Napoléon's visions
The legend of the castle of Crussol
The family of Crussol said their ancestor was a giant called Crussolius, king of Arvernes, who raised the first primitive fortress. In the 19th century, they even found a skeleton of a giant man, about 7 metres high, next to the castle!
Another story says this giant lived in the castle and was called Buard. He destroyed everything, even the human race, so he decided to found a city and repopulate it. For that he slept around with all the girls from the country and founded city of Valence…
Aaaah, what a nice legend!
We already met this family of Crussol in their fief of Uzès… Lot’s of famous people: do you remember Antoine, we met in his castle of Maulnes, in Burgundy?
Crussol and the family d’Uzès
Hercules and the Hydra with monk heads
A chart of Chaffre abbey mentioned the castello Cruseolis, a big keep, for the first time in 963.
By marriage, it fell to Géraud Bastet and was abandoned during the Hundred Years War. The fortress then was owned by Louis de Crussol, governor of Dauphiné.
When his son Jacques I married Simone d'Uzès in 1486, this one was forced to take his in-laws blazon and name: Uzès became their main residence.
Jacques, Protestant leader in the area, put on his blazon Hercules fighting a Hydra with monks heads... with a motto QUI CASSO CRUDELES, anagram of his name and surname!
He was the most dreaded Protestant leader in the area…
But here in Crussol, Jacques reinforced the defensive functions. The fortress would need this! Because soon Protestants and Catholics would fight during wars of Religion, besieging and destroying it...
Cardinal of Richelieu ordered Crussol destruction: for 3 centuries, the castle was abandoned, even the main building was blasted with dynamite in 1855! Fortunately, duke of Uzès owned the family castle 10 years later, and created a foundation for the reconstruction.
Young Napoleon, in garrison in Valence, often came in 1785 in Crussol, in the ruins of the old castle, with his brother Joseph (future king of Spain).
The legend says he had strange visions, premonitions! While he was looking by a bull’s eye, he suddenly saw, on the sky, scenes of his future battles and even his coronation.