Travel back in time to the Castle of Laréole

Laréole
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During your stay in Haute-Garonne, do not forget to stop at the Château de Laréole. Its exterior originality makes it one of the flagship sites of the department. The centuries have followed one another, as have the lines of bricks and stones on the walls of the castle. Since 1984, it has been the property of the General Council of Haute-Garonne and has undergone major renovations. It is now in remarkable condition and open to the public free of charge.


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The history of the castle in a few words

In 1579, Pierre de Cheverry, a Toulousain who had succeeded in the activity of pastel, commissioned the French architect Dominique Bachelier to build a Renaissance castle that he would use as a second home, but also to organize receptions and receive relatives. He wanted to stand out and catch the eye and for that he commissioned a "striped" castle, alternating bricks and white stones.


Laréole castle
Laréole castle A pretty wooded path, then, at the end, the entrance to the domain.

The castle remained in the family until 1707. Jean-Pierre Colomès, a wealthy banker from Toulouse then took possession of it, and transformed it somewhat.

During the Revolution, the owners follow one another.  

Then, between 1922 and 1984, he was abandoned. The plants then monopolize the building, and climb to the roofs. The General Council of Haute-Garonne acquired it in 1984 and undertook major restoration work.


Laréole castle

Photo showing the state of the abandoned castle


The good idea To go further, read our article on the Castles 30 minutes from Toulouse.


The peculiarities of castle Laréole

The first feature that will jump out at you will undoubtedly be the astonishing polychromy: the alternation of lines of bricks and stones. But it is not the only one.


Laréole castle
Laréole castle  Laréole castle

The alternation of colored lines gives a very particular style to the building


Thus, although it was built as a second home, the castle of Laréole nonetheless has some airs of a defensive castle. Indeed, from the outside you will notice the presence of ditches, towers and guardhouses. This is explained by the period in which it was erected: we are in the middle of the wars of religion.


Laréole castle
Laréole castle  Laréole castle

The moats and the entrance to the castle demonstrate the defensive character of the building


But when you have entered its inner courtyard, you will immediately notice the transition. The decorative and aesthetic spirit takes precedence over the defensive function. And the steed brings lightness and beauty to the building, yet imposing.


Laréole castle
Laréole castle

The courière du château joining the Monsieur wing and the Madame wing


You may notice during your visit that the "trompe l'oeil" is used several times in this castle: at the level of the windows visible from the interior courtyard, but also in the wing of Madame (false marble).

The second owner moved into the premises all year round, so he undertook some changes that you can observe from the inner courtyard: the arcades are full and we no longer visualize the scratches. This means that he closed them to use them as coins.


Laréole castle

The old arcades are still visible from the inner courtyard

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useful information

Access to the castle and its gardens is free, as are the exhibitions set up in the reception room and in the Lucien Vieillard room.


Laréole castle
Laréole castle

Walk in the area of Laréole

Laréole castle

A tourist office is present on site: you will find information, maps and flyers on many sites to discover in Haute-Garonne


In May and June, the castle opens its doors to you on weekends, Wednesdays, and public holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

In July and August, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and in September, it welcomes you on weekends, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From May to September, free guided tours are offered. The tour takes around 45 minutes, depending on the size of the group and their participation, interaction with the guide. The guided tour is very suitable for families. The guides know how to attract the curiosity of the youngest by involving them.


Laréole castle

Take part in the guided tour, suitable for young and old!


The reception room, and the various rooms of the castle, as well as the Lucien Vieillard room and the gardens, welcome exhibitions and other events from spring onwards. Do not hesitate to consult the program (fr).


Laréole castle

The Lucien Vieillard room hosts many exhibitions

Laréole castle

Laréole castle

An artist exhibiting his works in the different rooms of the castle


We hope that the discovery of this exceptional and atypical place has transported you back in time and that you come out won over by the beauty and authenticity of this incredibly unique site.

If you appreciate the beautiful stones and the buildings testifying to past eras, you can go to the bastide of Grenade-sur-Garonne dating from the 13th century, and discover its medieval hall and the former Ursuline convent in particular.


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Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'Homme


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