Castelnau-d’Estrétefonds: discovery of the heritage of this pretty village

Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds
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Castelnau-d’Estrétefo ...

Located about twenty kilometers from Toulouse, as the crow flies, the village of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds smells of Occitania. And not only thanks to its proximity to "the pink city", but also by its personality, its identity. Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds is part of the Frontenais, a region known and recognized for its vineyards in particular. It is in this agricultural environment that Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds has drawn its authenticity and has forged a history and a heritage imbued with typicality.


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A few words about the Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds castle

Its history has been marked by the passage of royal figures, like Henri II Plantagenêt (then King of England) or Louis XIII.


Castelnau-d'Estretefonds

View of the castel from the bottom of the village


Indeed, during the 12th century, the Count of Toulouse fought against the invasions of the King of England. In vain. He loses Cahors, and other castles. This is the case of that of Castelnau. Henry II Plantagenet, not proud of this conquest, settled there, while his troops remained at the foot of the castle. Even today, there is evidence of this little piece of history. The field occupied at the time by the soldiers is called Camp del Rei and it is now a locality.

Several centuries later, it was the turn of Louis XIII to stay in the castle of Castelnau d'Estrétefonds. He went there during the siege of Montauban (1621).

From an architectural point of view, we find the beautiful orange color, typical of the use of regional brick. Toulouse (fr) is the best example of the omnipresence of this local character, but other sites have been able to magnify it, such as the Château de Laréole or the Château de Merville. In addition, its two square towers give it an unparalleled look.

The good idea Read our articles on Château de Laréole and Château de Merville! Two other places with remarkable architectural and historical heritage.


Castle of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds  Castle of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds

At the foot of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds castle


In 1963, a congregation of sisters acquired it and baptized it “Notre-Dame du Bon Accueil” and carried out social work there.

The local garden, a true haven of peace and place of sharing

A few steps from the castle and the church is the superb local garden. Its charm is explained in particular by its drop (more than 15m!!). It is a veritable theater of greenery where inhabitants and visitors like to cross paths, meet and discuss.


local garden  local garden
local garden

Bucolic walk in the garden of the terroirs


Do not hesitate to take a tour and stroll along the landscaped paths. You will go from discovery to discovery. Fruit trees have been planted and you can exercise your sense of smell by rubbing the various aromatic plants between your fingers, arranged here and there along the route.

The place lends itself to contemplation, rest or even reading. It is a haven of peace, away from hectic daily life. Here, calm and serenity are the key words.

The good idea Read our article on the castles to visit in Haute-Garonne, around Toulouse!

The Town Hall-School: a particularity of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds

At the end of the 19th century, two republican laws forced Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds to build, on the one hand, a school for girls and one for boys, and, on the other hand, a town hall which would replace “the common house”.


Town Hall of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds

The remarkable town hall of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds


Nothing too surprising so far. Castelnau applied the law. Except that the city council of the time made the choice to make one and the same complex. This explains why the Town Hall is flanked by a wing for the girls' school and a second for the boys' school. Of course, it is not the only Town Hall-School built in France, but it nevertheless remains a particularity, and above all a building of a monumental nature.

The good idea Just 10 minutes by car, cross the Garonne to visit the Bastide of Granada! Read our article to learn more.


It is also possible to see a second interpretation: namely that the teaching and education of children are a priority for the municipality of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds, and beyond, for the Republic.


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Other sites to discover

  • Saint-Martin Church: It dates from the 16th century and was built not far from the castle. You can access it through the Jardin des Terroirs.

St. Martin's Church  St. Martin's Church
St. Martin's Church

    The Saint-Martin Church, located a few steps from the castle


    • The old portal: Imposing and at the same time surprising, this old portal testifies to the importance of the owners who lived in the large mansion whose portal marked the entrance.

    old portal


      • The chimney of the brickyard: who says Haute-Garonne, says brick, says local craftsmanship. A brickyard was set up in Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds during the second half of the 19th century. Visible from afar, it sounds the hour of glory of such know-how and was able to employ up to a hundred workers. Today, it is the only witness of this period and is distinguished by its artistic external appearance: rings, cornices and grooves give it a proud appearance.

      brickyard chimney


        • The washhouse: Built in the 19th century, it was of course intended to bring together the washerwomen of the village, but there were also drinking troughs. You can still see them today. They were intended for the animals of the village of course, but also for people who traveled by stagecoach along the Paris-Toulouse route.

        The laundry  The laundry

          The laundry, at the entrance of the village


          This concludes our visit through the highlights of Castelnau-d'Estrétefonds. Hoping that these different characteristic places of the village have given you the desire to stop there during your discovery stay in the heart of Occitania.


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          Report and photos produced by Charline Prod'Homme, La Plume Digitale, for the Guide Toulouse Pyrénées


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