Acquired by Mr. David Alexandre Liagre in 2000, Gardères castle was a ruin. During these last years, the castle owner has restored the interior of the castle, he has decorated it in the pure 18th century style and has arranged the French style landscaped gardens which are uniques in the Hautes-Pyrénées department. Discover the interview of the owner.
Could you tell us a few words about the Gardères castles?
It was often forgotten and plundered and its chaotic destiny finally enters an era of genuine peace that leaves us the pleasure to admire it. At the heart of enclaves, the splendid Gardères castle is enjoying a renaissance. Its current owner has begun a titanic renovation of this incredible building which has traces of the fifteenth century. Supported by the Association “Gardères 1723”, he gradually gives back its flamboyance through a restoration inspired by the eighteenth century. Open to the public, it is first by its gardens that it will seduce you. Unique in the department, its regular garden and superb bridle path set the tone. From the plant maze to the vegetable garden, it is a real outdoor theater that makes you travel in time. His backyard is a moment of grace, registered as historical monument in 1997, it deserves a visit, if only to measure the energy that its owner gives to its fascinating rehabilitation and to help him to achieve it! Taking part in the European Heritage Days, it also opens its doors over the major events and its environment deserves a place of King.
What is the history of the castle? What are the main historical events?
Castle Gardères is located in the heart of a village of Hautes-Pyrénées of 426 inhabitants. The castle was built and remodeled on a site formerly occupied by a fortified castle, as it is suggested by the area layout and the cadastral plan.
In the fifteenth century, the lordship of Gardères, Luquet, Seron, and Aast belonged to the house of Coarraze. Catherine de Coarraze bequeathed this lordship to her son Gaston de Foix-Carmaing who sold it in 1504 to Bernard II de Coarraze. The lordship then passed by inheritance to the Castelnau-Laloubère family and was sold in 1603 to Antoine d’Incamps, lord of Abère in Vic-Bihl (region of Gascony).
In 1672, Jérôme de Day, wool merchant, then king’s councellor and general treasurer of the Navarre Court, acquired Gardères and its lordship. Pierre Joseph de Day-Gardères, named Baron Day ( 1760-1812), born in 1760, will be the last lord of the Gardères castle and will also be Mayor of this town and Governor of the city of Tarbes. At his death, the castle passed by marriage to the Cazaubon -Lavedan family, then to Marie de la Lande d’Olce who sold the castle in 1904 to the Bacqué family who transformed this castle into a grocery store, hardware store, ” pub ” for the villagers. The Castle will be animated at that time with the land festivals which will be held each year.
Today, the outbuildings and and all external approaches are made available to the Association “Gardères 1723”. Gardens and all dependencies gradually regain their luster thanks to restoration works. Barns, roofs, stone walls and approaches the castle were the subject of particular attention.
What does this castle represent to you?
It’s my baby !
According to you, what is “castle life” nowadays?
Only troubles !
What do you organise at Gardères Castle?
The castle is open the public (gardens and castle interiors) from May to October on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 12pm and from 15h to 18h. Entrance 7 €. Open all year by appointment for groups. We participate in “Rendez-vous aux jardins” (gardens festival) the first weekend in June and European Heritage Days in September.
We rent the barn (reception room) for private events (weddings, seminars, meetings and conferences …). We are open to all requests according to the wishes of the clients. Our goal is to develop and share this unique local heritage in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, to invite people to come and discover it.
“Our goal is to develop and share this unique local heritage in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, to invite people to come and discover it.”
Thank you David for this interview!
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