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An operation launched to restore the castle of Goudourville - La Dépêche du Midi

Le haut de l’escalier en forme de palmier à restaurer. Photo : DR
The top of the palm tree staircase to be restored. Photo : DR

The castle of Goudourville, in the west of Tarn-et-Garonne, has been selected for a sponsorship operation, "Crazy about heritage", run by the Vieilles maisons de France (VMF) foundation. The aim is to collect donations via the Internet for the restoration of endangered heritage sites whose owners have initiated restoration programmes. This is a godsend for the owner, Geneviève Mifsud: "This selection gives us a bit of a boost in a complicated, difficult period, which affects morale. Four sites have been selected for France: the Manoir de l'Aumônerie, in Normandy; the Château de Braux, in Champagne; and the Cistercian Abbey of Montigny, in Franche-Comté. The castle of Goudourville is the fourth and only one in the south of France and therefore in Occitania.

A little history

The castle of Goudourville, whose appearance inevitably evokes a fortress of the Middle Ages, comprises two main buildings flanked by two large square towers and a crenellated keep. It emerges from the trees, perched on its rocky spur, offering a superb unobstructed view of the Garonne valley. Its medieval allure is not usurped. The Gasques family built a fortress in 1081, in the Middle Ages, modified in the Renaissance, notably by a remarkable central staircase of one hundred steps ending in a palm tree-shaped summit. It is this staircase that is to be restored. Louis de Berdolle, a Toulouse parliamentarian, transformed it into a pleasant summer residence, with vast French windows and prestigious fireplaces. Like other buildings, the castle has suffered the ravages of history and time. In the 17th century, it was ransacked during the Fronde, restored and then transformed in the 18th century. Then came the outrages of the French Revolution.

Call for donations

It is therefore an appeal to the heritage lovers of Occitania, but also of the south of France, at least, to give a helping hand to the safeguarding of this almost thousand-year-old castle. It is advisable to go to the site "fous de patrimoine VMF" which has already participated in twenty-three building rescues. This participative operation allows a tax reduction of up to 65%.

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