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Château du Barroux

Historic site and monument, Historic patrimony, Castle, Renaissance in Le Barroux
8,5 Full-fare
  • The castle 'Château du Barroux' (12th century) is a not-to-be-missed historical monument with magnificent views all around, over Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. Since 2021 the château has been home to the only distillery of organic whiskey in Provence.

  • At the time of its construction, the château in Le Barroux was a powerful dungeon surrounded by solid walls, which protected the Comtadin plains (which form the Comtat Venaissin) against invasions from the Saracens and from Italy.

    It became the home of the Seignory which belonged to a succession of families between the 12th and the 15th centuries, passing in the hands of the Les Baux, de Budos, de Ricavi, de Peyre, de Cardaillac, de Rovigliasc, de Pelletier de Gigondas and de Noret...
    At the time of its construction, the château in Le Barroux was a powerful dungeon surrounded by solid walls, which protected the Comtadin plains (which form the Comtat Venaissin) against invasions from the Saracens and from Italy.

    It became the home of the Seignory which belonged to a succession of families between the 12th and the 15th centuries, passing in the hands of the Les Baux, de Budos, de Ricavi, de Peyre, de Cardaillac, de Rovigliasc, de Pelletier de Gigondas and de Noret families.

    In 1274, when the Pope took possession of the Comtat Venaissin, Le Barroux became a fief that was dependent on the Apostolic Chamber of Carpentras, up until 1791, when the Comtat Venaissin became part of France. That is how the holder of the fief of Le Barroux was among the feudal and vassal lords of the Holy Father the Pope.

    In the year 1538, as settlement for a debt, the castle became the property of Henri de Rovigliasc, Count of Veynes. At the heart of the Renaissance period, he transformed the military fortress, largely uninhabitable, into a splendid home.

    More recent fortifications line the courtyard and add to the castle's defensive system. These fortifications were built in the years 1680 - 1690 under the influence of Vauban (Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the brilliant military leader who was Maréchal de France under King Louis XIV. He built fortified areas throughout the Kingdom of France, in particular along the rivers Escaut, the Meuse and the Rhine).

    After that, the history of the château takes on a darker tone. It was abandoned, then attacked in 1793 by angry revolutionary hordes. Sold in the 1800s, it fell into ruin, and its stones were taken and reused for nearly 150 years...

    The French industrialist Mr. Vayson de Pradenne, fell in love with this site. He purchased it and started enormous reconstruction work with his own personal funds, between 1929 and 1939. Dozens of stone carvers and masons worked on this site, carving stones and rebuilding walls. Alas, Mr. Vayson met an accidental death in 1939.

    During the war the work stopped entirely, and part of the château was used as an observation post by the occupying forces from Germany.

    During an ambush in 1944, French Resistance fighters killed a German soldier. In reprisal against this shadow army, the occupying troops took the inhabitants of Le Barroux prisoner and threatened to execute civilian hostages. The chief of the German section most fortunately did not take this vengeful step, however when they left the German forces set the château on fire. It burned for 10 days. This was on the 24th of August, 1944, the day before Paris was liberated...

    Great damage was done. The castle was then once again restored, starting in 1960, by a military physician, Doctor Mouliérac-Lamoureux, again using his own personal funds. Several films were shot in 1977 - 1978 (L'épée d'Ardouaan) and in 1980 (Les contes du chat perché).

    Between 1993 and December 2020, the Association des Amis du Château du Barroux continued this work, with support from the Vayson de Pradenne family which is still the owner of the château.

    A brand new chapter in the history of the Château du Barroux got its start in January 2021, when Jean-Baptiste & Fanny Vayson de Pradenne took over the château. They set up the first organic whiskey distillery in Provence, making whiskey from the einkorn grown in Haute Provence. They undertook major work to bring the château into compliance with current standards so as to be able to receive visitors, to improve the visit itinerary and expand the offer. You can now visit the château in an "on your own" mode with a paper format guide; there is also a treasure hunt game for children. You can also make an appointment for a guided tour of the whiskey distillery.

    Wedding reception.
    Discover also our different tasting workshops around daring pairings such as the "Whiskys-cheeses" workshop, the "Whiskys-country tartines" workshop, the "Whiskys around the world" workshop or the "Whiskys around France" workshop, information and booking on our website: www.chateaudubarroux.fr

    Various temporary artist exhibitions will punctuate your visit this season: Sandrot, monumental animal painter.
  • Environment
    • In the country
    • Mountain view
    • Village centre
    • Lake 5 km away
    • Close to GR footpath
  • Spoken languages
    • English
    • French
Services
  • Accessibility
    • Hearing disability
    • Not accessible in a wheelchair
  • Activities
    • Shows
    • Activity
    • Product tasting
    • History
    • Heritage
  • Equipment
    • Meeting room
  • Services
    • Pets welcome
      • Dogs on leash only
    • Educational visits
    • Room hire
    • Shop
    • Guided tours
    • Spot photo
    • Free choice of caterer
    • Accommodation in the close vicinity
    • Concert/events
    • Convention
    • Family Reception/drinks reception
    • Seminar/meeting
Rates
Payment methods
  • Bank/credit card
  • Travellers Cheque
  • From February 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024
  • Adult
    8.50 €
  • Child
    5 €
  • Group adults
    7.50 €
  • Guided tour of the distillery and tasting €17.50 per visitor aged 10 and over (château visit included) on reservation. Free for accompanying adults and drivers.
Openings
Openings
  • From February 1, 2024 until December 31, 2024
    Open Everyday
    * May to late September 10am to 6pm - October to late April 10am to 1pm and 2 to 6pm.
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