Hautes-Alpes (05) Special
Département: Hautes-Alpes (05)
is one of France's most popular destinations for travelers, and we have
discovered a magnificent château in the Hautes-Alpes département
that offers fine accommodations, conference and meeting facilities, and
easy access to outdoor pursuits and sports. It is Château
Picomtal, an historic Medieval château dating back over a
The history of the château is fascinating. It all began in 1080 when the Lords of Embrun lost their status with the archbishops during a rebellion and settled in St Jean des Crottes where they constructed a lookout post ~ a rustic building surrounded by stockade fencing. A watchtower allowed them to signal the populace if intruders were coming. The first stone tower of Château de Picomtal was erected on this site at the end of the 13th century, replacing the wooden watchtower that served for so many years, and today it is the tower at the southwest corner of the château. Since 1349, the Embrun region had been part of the Kingdom of France. But, in 1368, the Duc d'Anjou had a conflict with Queen Jeanne of Naples (Countess of Provence), and a war began. The locals learned from that experience that they had to maintain stronger fortresses. Thus, the lone tower of Picomtal was joined by the construction of a square castle and three more towers between 1375 and 1380 by Antoine d'Embrun. It allowed the garrison to keep watch and was a refuge for the farmers and their families. In 1417, Antoine de la Villette became the lord of Picomtal. Entrusting new construction to an Italian master builder between 1505 and 1510, he had the two 125 year-old north towers torn down, expanded the building to the north, and added two new towers. The castle was also made one story higher. So today, the four towers of the château date back to 1270, 1380 and the two built in 1510, all similar in appearance and size.
More recent history involves Lazare de Ravel who, in 1724, bought the Crottes land and with it the castle. He improved it greatly to make it comfortable even including running water. At his death his son René-Hyacinthe, a priest, inherited the castle from his father who had installed a chapel in the northeast tower. A subsequent owner added the pepperpot roofs to the four towers, and yet another later owner added the Louisiana-style veranda on the south façade of the château. His name was Louis Berthe, and had commercial ties with Louisiana. He planted two Virginia junipers that still shade that side of the château. In 1876, Joseph Roman, who came from an important Provençal family, bought the château at auction and thoughtfully redecorated the interior. The château stayed in the Roman family until 1998 when it was purchased by Jacques Peureux and Sharon Halperin who spent four years renovating it to accommodate conferences, seminars, concerts and, of course, a lovely chambres d'hôtes.
Located in the Southern French Alps overlooking Lake Serre-Ponçon, the château offers four sun-filled guest rooms and four bright and spacious guest suites in the main building, and a lovely apartment in the Annexe. The parkland around the château consists of a French garden, orchards, meadows and forests, and it is near the Ecrins National Park that boasts peaks as high as 10,000 feet. Perhaps best of all, vacationers here will appreciate more than 300 days of sunshine per year. The owners, a French-American couple, Jacques and Sharon, warmly welcome bed and breakfast guests from April until the end of October, but they are happy to schedule guided group tours of the château at any time of year. As mentioned above, the château is also host to seminars, conferences, cultural events, and receptions in spacious meeting rooms. For those interested in French cuisine, cooking classes with a professional chef are scheduled five times a year followed by dinner in the château. It is also open for regularly scheduled guided tours during the summer months, during European Heritage Weekend (known as Patrimoine, the third weekend in September), and Nocturnal tours by candlelight are offered in August by advance reservation.
are sure your stay at Château de Picomtal will not only be an
historical journey but a very pleasant holiday experience in one of
most beautiful regions.
* * * Book your stay at this magnificent château by contacting au Château and mention 'Picomtal' in the subject line. * * *
Nine: 4 double bedrooms and 4 suites in the château, all with en
suite bathrooms. All four suites can accommodate extra guests in either
a single or double bed connecting room. One apartment in the
Welcome drink and guided tour offered to B&B guests.
Prices per night: € 140 for standard double (140cm); € 160 for superior double (queen bed 160cm). Extra person in a suite € 35. € 950 for a week. No charge for child under 3 years of age.
Breakfast: € 9 per person (children under 6 free).
Elevator (ascenseur, lift)
Annexe Apartment Prices: Self-catering, accommodates 2 adults and 2 children. € 140 for 2 adults only; € 160 for 3-4 people. For the week: € 950. Dogs permitted in Annexe only - €35/night supplemental charge.
Check in: 5 PM; Check-out: 11 AM.
Dinner: not offered at the château, but there are several good local restaurants in Crots, Baratier, Embrun, Châteauroux-les-Alpes, Guillestre and St Crépin. Dinner is served at the château about 5 times a year following cooking classes.
Meeting room rates: Salle de Conférence € 650 half day + VAT; € 890 full day + VAT. Salons: € 295 half day + VAT; € 450 full day + VAT.
Wedding cocktails only (vin d'honneur ), in garden in nice weather, up to 300 persons buffet style.
Pets permitted in Annexe by request only. € 20 additional charge.
No Smoking throughout château and Annexe.
Television in lounge only. No telephones in rooms. Internet connections (cables provided) and study areas in rooms. WiFi in Salon de Musique.
April to October.
From Paris Gare de Lyon by TGV to Aix-en-Provence (3 hours) and rent a car at the station - 2-hour drive to Château. Or by train to Embrun via Grenoble (6 hours) or via Valence (5.5 hours).
From Paris & the North by auto: take autoroute A6 direction Lyon to the A43 / A48 go Grenoble. From Grenoble take the N85 (Route Napoleon) to Gap to the N94 direction of Embrun/Briançon to Crots. Turn right onto the D90 into Crots and right again on the avenue du Château, bearing right until the end to the château.
From Aix, Marseille & the South: take A51 north to last exit La Saulce/Gap, then the D942 through Tallard to N94 direction Crots and then as above.
From Turin, Italy: via Montgenevre and Briançon, to the N94 direction Embrun. Turn left toward Crots and then as above to the château.
Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Turin
|Superb Guest Rooms||Salons and Dining||The Château||Park and Gardens||Spacious Guest Suites|