You want to enjoy your stay in Languedoc to discover local heritage? The town of Castries northeast of Montpellier houses one of the most advanced buildings of southern classicism. Historical monument, the castle of Castries was built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the family of La Croix. Nicknamed "little Versailles of Languedoc", it contains beautiful gardens designed by Le Nôtre. His visit is a rendezvous with history of the area an hour drive from the campsite Les Mimosas from the A9 motorway (80 km).
Castries is a small town of 6000 inhabitants of Occitanie near Montpellier whose history is intimately linked to that of René de La Croix de Castries. In 1565, the powerful family ordered the building of a castle on the site of an old Gothic mansion. Its architecture, which combines Renaissance elements to those of southern classicism hardly leaves indifferent Louis XIV. This is also his famous gardener André Le Nôtre, creator of the gardens of Versailles, which is responsible for drawing in the park. The water that irrigates the gardens is carried by an aqueduct designed by Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi plans. Castle of Castries becomes at the time an architectural masterpiece, which has withstood wars and time.
Currently work until the end of 2020, the castle of Castries is not open to the public. It is possible to enter the park on weekends, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00, until September 15, 2019. You can get lost in the alleys of this magnificent French garden and admire the beautiful facade of the building. You will see during your visit the courtyard, pools, fountains, spacious terraces and vineyards that surround the area. Castle of Castries is easily accessible from the A9 motorway (exit 28). Free parking is nearby (50 Avenue of the station).
To help you soak the place, visiting the castle of Castries may be followed by a stroll through the village streets. The castriote city has a remarkable heritage that reflects its turbulent history between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, including three other historical monuments: the aqueduct that feeds the castle, the remains of the parish church and the bridge over the Cadoule and sprinkles the village. The town has several other bridges (Banner, Tourilles, Bérange), an old Roman road linking Castries and Sussargues and an old oil mill. Castries has the distinction of being surrounded by quarries. The stone extracted, distinguished by its pale yellow color, was used in the construction of some monuments of Herault (Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul Maguelone, royal square Peyrou in Montpellier). If you like hiking and preserved natural settings you will enjoy a ride with family or friends in the woods or in the vineyards before heading back to the campsite.
Like local heritage? Enjoy your stay at Les Mimosas in Portiragnes-Plage in to discover another exceptional site, the Theater of the Sea in Sète.