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

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

Plots and pigs’ heads

The family d’Albret owned the land at the beginning of the 17th century: they raised the two main buildings 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 he get his marshal’s baton by plotting…

People said 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 only took my box”…

Writer Bussy-Rabutin told he had… pigs’ head phobia! So, one day, as a joke, people said that in order to defeat him in a duel, you 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…

About the the author

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