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Bargain Travel Europe guide to Europe on a budget for unusual destinations, holiday travel tips
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CHÂTEAU SAINT MICHEL DE LANES
Historic Manor Bed & Breakfast in Languedoc

St Michel du Lanes Chateau photoThe Chateau du Saint Michael du Lanes is proud of the legends of its past. In fact the four bedrooms of this bed & breakfast in an historic French chateau hotel in the Lauragais countryside province of the Languedoc region between Toulouse and Carcassonne names four of its restored elegant bedrooms after some of the legendary figures who have visited the mansion in its heyday. The modest chateau of pale stone with its gray slate roof set in a quiet leafy green park, adorned with sculptures of woodland fawns, fireplaces of Italian marble, parquet floors, and gold leaf embossed ceilings is far from the turbulent times of this fascinating and beautiful part of south France.

Grand Salon Chateau Saint Michel du Lanes photoThe Chateau St Michel de Lanes is family operated by the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de la Panouse, or more perhaps more casually, Vincent and Alix. The house and lands which date back to King Henry IV (see Nogent-Sur-Seine) was first a “gentleman’s manor” in the 16th Century and later rebuilt in its current form in the late 18th Century as a chateau during the reign of Louis XVI. It has been in the extended family for two centuries with the current owners acquiring it from cousins in 1995, and lovingly restored to warm and comfortable accommodation in its elegant surrounding for an overnight stay or weekend break.

Athena Window Sculpture Roof Chateau St Michel photoThe de la Panouse family is closely connected to the turbulent history of the region. The medieval city of Carcassone and surrounding towns of Languedoc were ravaged by the Albigensian crusades of the Cathar inquisitions of the 13th Century and the persecution of the French Protestant Huguenots in the religious wars of the 17th Century. Jean the First la Panouse de Loupiac was named Seneschal of Carcassone by named King Charles VI in the 15th Century. Catherine de Médici, daughter of Lorenzo de Medici, the Italian born Countess of Lauragais who married the Duke of Orleans and became queen of France legendarily left her mark on the chateau with the Renaissance relief sculptures on its façade, like the goddess Athena above the windows, perhaps modeled on the formidable lady herself, and the master bedroom is named for her. Other rooms are named for famed visitors to the house, the Baroness de Aiceline, the poet Bertrand de Born and the "Dame Troubadour" Béatrix de Die.

Faun Sculpture at St Michel du Lanes photoThe family and the house also have connections to the American Revolution. Comte Alexandre Cesar de La Panouse was a captain during the War for Independence and member of the Order of Cincinnatus, the organization formed by Henry Knox and named for the Roman General who defeated the enemies of Rome then returned to his farm rather than seizing power, the ultimate ideal of a civil government for which the new republic hoped. And the chateau is only five minutes from the Canal du Midi, the world’s oldest existing transportation canal, named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The canal which runs from Toulouse to Bezier and combined with the Garonne connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean. The region was explored and studied by Thomas Jefferson while Ambassador to France, with the engineering marvel inspiring America’s version, the Erie Canal.

Wall sCULPTURE sT mICHEL cHATEAU PHOTOThe Chateau Saint Michel de Lanes is an ideal off the beaten path location for exploring the Languedoc-Roussillon region with its rich history, visiting Carcassone, strolls or bicycling along the canal, and an hour away from the Pyrenees Mountains and the beaches of the Mediterranean. Or just walks into the historic medieval village of St Michel de Lanes with its ancient church and 10th Century Occitan Cross. The four bedrooms range from €130 to €165 and can be booked online. © Bargain Travel Europe

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Chateau Saint Michel

These articles are copyrighted and the sole property of Bargain Travel Europe and WLPV, LLC. and may not be copied or reprinted without permission. Photos courtesy Chateau St Michel.

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