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Once upon a time…

 

 

"The last lord" * living in Valflaunès Castle was born on one day in May 1760 and his name was Baron Jean-Jacques Louis Durand. His grandparents and parents who had hoarded up a large fortune saved Languedoc from starvation. It said that in order to thank the family, the King granted Jean Jacques Durand his title of nobility.

 

If you come to the castle, you can still admire the high pine trees in the park where the Baron used to walk as well as his residence and the adjoining zoo that is now the cellar.

The Baron, who was little proud, loved the game of ball that was widely played then. In shirtsleeves, he often met the Valflaunès inhabitants to have a game down the village. Numerous meals were offered to the villagers inside the Valflaunès Castle. With this simple way of life, everyone loved him in the village.

 

In 1790, he became the first elected mayor of Montpellier and it looks like he would have been re-elected three times. Life can be nice and sweet sometimes!

Unfortunately, the wheel turned ... In 1793 in Paris it was French Revolution, so  Girondin deputies were put under arrest by the Montagnards who were supported by the rabble and many deputies were sent to guillotine.

The Baron and his two acolytes criticized the action of the Montagnards and the Convention accused all three of them. The Baron was a prisoner in his Montpellier hostel. He could go wherever he wanted, but still it was a jail. Many advised him to flee to Spain as did one of his friends. The Lord responded to all: Within my conscience, I fear nothing, I shall go ... "So he decided to go to Paris to defend himself. His wife Pauline, whose pregnancy was far, accompanied him in the capital. The trip was very long for various reasons including the baron’s disease. Maybe he felt that he should not reach Paris ... Maybe this delay annoyed the jury, the convention acquitted his second friend who was in time but sentenced  the lord. Finally, the guillotine ended the agony of the last of the Valflaunès Lords on the 12th January, 1794.

 * From the tales " Quand flambait le four " by Edmond TESSIER whose story has been told him by the canton notary Master THIBAULT.

Some research about building dates of the castle are still going on. You will then be able to find out when visiting

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