The castle was the property of Charles de Gontaut, Duke of Biron and Marshal of France. Biron, initially a good friend of Henri IV, was accused of treason by his king. The Duke was decapitated on the 31st of July 1602 in Paris. Since then they say that he comes every year during the night of the anniversary of his death and haunts the castle walking around with his head under his arm!
The castle was built in the 13th century but extensively redone during the time it was the property of Bérenger de Roquefeuil (1448-1530). A cruel man who apparently was taking pleasure in hanging the peasants who were challenging his authority, de Roquefeuil was also an unkind father. When his daughter Marguerite de Roquefeuil rebelled his marriage arrangements for her with an old man, she disappeared never to be seen alive again. The locals say that she comes back to haunt the castle as the “Dame Blanche” during November nights.
The Atlantic beach of Hendaye town
The beach is haunted by ghosts of witches who until the nineteenth century came to celebrate the Sabbath around the menhirs that were there then. In revenge for the removal of these megaliths they torment and even drown the holiday-makers who are brave enough to take midnight baths.
It is a historic fact that Labourd region, to which Hendaye town belongs, knew in the beginning of the 17th century an event known as “Procès de sorcellerie en Labourd”. It was a witch hunt that ended with between 600 to 700 people – mainly women – accused of been sorcerers and put to death by burning at stake. To read more about this historic fact click here
Puymartin is a beautiful castle in the Perigord region of the south west of France.
The legend says that in the 16th century its young and pretty chatelaine, Thérèse de Saint-Clar, was caught by her much older husband Jean de Saint-Clar, on his return home from a far away war, in the arms of her lover. As a punishment he confined his young wife for the rest of her life in a small room in the north tower of the castle. At her death, the legend goes, Thérèse was walled in the walls of the same room. Since then there were mid-night sighting of her walking around the castle or climbing the stairs towards her little room. She is known as “Dame Blanche” – “the White Lady” – of Puymartin.
The fields near Saint-Palais-de-Negrignac
Saint-Palais-de-Négrignac is a little village – population around 400 – in the Charente-Maritime department of south west France.
In the countryside around the village, one can see regular circles where the grass is higher there than elsewhere. It is said that the fairies, after dancing, sit in a circle to rest and that, where they put their majestic posterior, any plant grows faster.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!