The Chateau of Ansouis

A posting by Emily, my guest blogger while I celebrate Easter in Switzerland:

While driving on any one of several winding roads criss-crossing the Grand Luberon, one can see in the distance the chateau of Ansouis high atop a rocky spur, its red baronial flag whipping in the wind. The chateau, built in the 12th century, is the star attraction of the tiny hilltop village and has been in the Sabran family for centuries. Sadly, the current generation has put it up for sale.

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The ironwork castle gate originally was raised and lowered by its guards and although today it is motor-driven, it remains the entrance for all wishing to tour the chateau. The day we visited there were about eight people waiting for the tour to begin, and what fun it was to stand outside and see the gate slowly rise and then lower once more when everyone was inside the grounds.

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These are bells of the church, which is adjacent to the chateau and is seen in this view from the chateau’s courtyard. It was built in the 13th century and was the courtroom of the counts of Sabran before becoming a church. There are arrow slits on one side which were used during more turbulent times. This church was one of the locations for the film Manon des Sources.

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My favorite room was the kitchen and I could have spent a lot of time there investigating the beautiful copper pots and utensils and the antique faience. We were shown a wooden item that looked like an Inquisition era thumb screw used for torture and asked to guess its use. Turned out it was a device to squeeze every bit of blood out of a piece of meat for use in cooking. Since cooking with blood is not my area of expertise I only can assume it was used for blood sausage or blood pudding or some such thing. The kitchen still is in use. This photo is a postcard I scanned because cameras are not allowed inside the chateau.

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The lovely dining room (also from a postcard) is hung with 17th century Flemish tapestries. Reminds me of home. Riiiight!

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This typically French box garden in an inner courtyard was designed to be enjoyed from above.

Sideroads of Europe

2 thoughts on “The Chateau of Ansouis

  1. All that beautiful copper in the kitchen. And my ratchety practical mind immediately wanted to know who has to polish it? (sigh)

    What’s the asking price for the castle? Does it come with extensive grounds? Livestock? Serfs?

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