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Lascours - Laudun-l'Ardoise The Castle of Lascours, situated in the district of Laudun, originates from the late 12th century. Its three high towers and its elegant façades rise above the vineyards. In the course of the 15th century, when the marshes were progressively drained, this small hunting pavilllion was supplemented with a number of buildings, and it became the center of a farming estate. Since it contained many courtyards, it became known as "Lascours" ("Les Cours").
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Lascours castle a Laudun

Lascours castle a Laudun
This is the only castle in the Gard that is surrounded by moats with running water, and it is the only monument whose ditches have not been drained, since the thousand-square-meter grounds are supported by piles sunk into the water, imitating the construction of Venice. It was once the secondary residence of the Laudun de Montfaucon family and later became their family home. In 1559, Guillaume de Panisse, husband of Jeanne de Montfaucon, sold Lascours to Guillaume de Joyeuse (His Majesty's lieutenant-general in the province of Languedoc). He improved its system of defence and added the east wing. His youngest son, François, inherited Lascours. François de Joyeuse was named cardinal, archbishop of Narbonne, and was even named legate to France by Pope Paul V. He finished construction of the great hall that became known as the "Hall of the Estates General." A small oratory was created. The castle was transformed into a magnificent residence in the French Renaissance style. Marie de Guise, the cardinal's niece, inherited Lascours but later sold it. In 1792, the town protected the abandoned castle, thus saving it from revolutionary turmoil. The castle was recovered by its rightful owners, the family of Jouenne d'Esquigny, who maintained it until World War II. In 1972, Lascours was restored to the Ministry of War, which sold it by auction in 1979.
Since then, the current owners have taken on its restoration, its upkeep, and its promotion, in order to try to return some splendor to this jewel of the Gard Rhodanien's heritage.

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