Facing the village of Lourmarin, listed amongst the most beautiful of France, this castle is the first Renaissance Château in Provence. The original, medieval wing, called the Château-vieux or old castle, boasts Italian-style loggias. The Renaissance wing houses many collections from the 16th to 19th century (furnishings, objets d'art, musical instruments...).
The château hosts young artists in residence during the summer, and concerts, conferences, and exhibitions throughout the year. Many activities are offered for children.
The Château of Lourmarin is open everyday except December 25 and January 1.
In the 15th century, Foulques III d'Agoult had a castle built (what is today the “Château-vieux”) on the ruins of a 12th century fortress. Foulques' niece Louise then ruled over the village as part of her duties of administrating the inheritance of her son, still young and orphaned of his father. Elle governed Lourmarin with much wisdom, attracting many Vaudoise, or Waldensian, families to the region and even concluding a verbal agreement with them. She had the octagonal tower to the west built. It was then the family's descendent, Blanche de Lévis-Ventadour ,who rebuilt the village with great splendour, employing some Italian masons of renown. She added her own personal touch by building the Renaissance tower (the part called “Château-neuf” or the new castle).
After periods de diverse fortunes, the ruins of the château were bought by an industrialist from Lyon, Robert-Laurent Vibert, who undertook its restoration.
Upon his sudden death from an accident in 1925, the château devint par testament la propriété de of the Academy of Arts et Belles Lettres of Aix-en-Provence acquired the château by bequest, it being up to them to create a “Lourmarin Laurent-Vibert Foundation”, transforming the Château into a veritable “Villa Medicis of Provence”.
Château de Lourmarin - 84160 Lourmarin
+33 (0)4 90 68 15 23http://www.chateau-de-lourmarin.com/