500 years and counting
The History of the Chateau de Saint Martory dates back to the beginning of the XVIth century when the Montpezat family, lords of Saint Martory, decided to abandon their medieval fortress, which stood on a cliff overlooking the entire Garonne valley, and settle near the riverbed to control commercial traffic and … enjoy life!
The Chateau’s architecture is a perfect example of early French Renaissance and offers many similarities with the chateaux of the Loire valley, although it preceded many of them. Construction began in 1515 and ended supposedly between 1520 and 1525.
Several years after the French revolution, around 1850, a the Prince of Berghes (from Northern France) married the daughter of the then-owner and decided to renovate the chateau to transform it into a summer residence. The architect in charge of the works was Victor Ruprich Robert, a fellow of Viollet Le Duc, the first architect in France who undertook the renovation of medieval and renaissance buildings, and whose major accomplishments include the renovation of the Carcassonne fortress, the Cathedral of Saint-Denis near Paris and the Basilica Saint Sernin in Toulouse.
The interior layout of the chateau was transformed significantly during the renovation, in particular through the addition of wooden paneling, which represented a “modern view” of “gothic style” in those days. Modern comfort was also added with, for example, the creation of separate bathrooms on each floor.
Subsequently, the chateau changed hands numerous times until it was acquired by the family of the current owner in the early 1990’s and fully renovated starting in 1998.