Saturday, August 22, 2009

Château de Grimaud

We had just under two hundred people in Edinburgh during The Gathering - a busy time for our small company. And once everyone was safely back home, I took a few welcome days off in the South of France. Castles continued to call though, and I climbed up to the Château de Grimaud, dramatically overlooking the Gulf of St Tropez. I had thought it was a Saracen fortress, but it was actually built by the king's grand sénéchal, Jean de Cossa in the 15th century. Essentially a medieval castle, it has massive towers with firing slits and high walls surrounded by a long stretch of crenelated ramparts up to seven metres high. In 1791 the French Revolutionaries confiscated and then demolished this aristocrat’s residence and it has been a noble ruin ever since. There are great views but the lack of maintenance and any interpretation made me realise what an excellent job Historic Scotland do for us and our visitors.

But the charm of Grimaud village with its colourful alleyways and a game of boules in the shade of the plane trees is something we may struggle to match!

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