Groupe Mercure-VMF 2011 Award

Publish the 29 June 2011 in Sponsorship and Awards

Château de Cazeneuve in Gironde wins Mercure-VMF 2011 award

The favorite residence of the Kings of Navarre

On the outskirts of Bordeaux, Château de Cazeneuve is an ancient medieval fortress founded in the 9th century by the House of Albret. It was enlarged in the 14th century to become their favorite residence, where they often stayed.. Illustrious monarchs frequented the château, such as Edward I of England accompanied by his wife Eleanor of Castile in 1287. In 1484, Jean d’Albret ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Navarre and, in 1550, the family fief was made a duchy. Henri de Navarre, the future Henri IV, inherited Cazeneuve in 1572, the year of his marriage to Marguerite de France. It was here that he placed her under house arrest pending the annulment of their marriage. Known for her gallant rendezvous in a cave along the famous gorges du Ciron, Queen Margot left an indelible mark on this place. In the 17th century, the fortress was again remodeled, and today boasts remarkable Renaissance architecture, the work of architect Pierre Souffron. Surrounded by a moat, the château takes the form of an irregular polygon around a large, two-level inner courtyard.

Vigilant daily maintenance

Today, the château is still owned by descendants of the Albret family. The Count and Countess Elzéar de Sabran-Pontevès, who inherited the property in 1990, continue to maintain this beautiful property, restoring the woodwork and windows, which they are gradually restoring without external shutters to the original order of the facades. Threatened by water infiltration, the bridge required extensive work to restore the watertightness of the deck and rebuild the masonry. The chapel patio, moat and walkway were also restored.

The commitment of a patron

This Mercure-VMF 2011 award will enable the restoration work on the windows on the château’s east facade and on the outbuildings overlooking the main courtyard to continue. As France’s leading player in the fine homes market, and driven by a genuine passion for France’s historic and architectural heritage, the Mercure group annually rewards the successful restoration of a characterful residence alongside the VMF, thus contributing to its preservation.


For further