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Virtual Earth map of Montaigne Castle

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XVIth and XVIIth castle. The castle was completely reconstructed in a neogothic style following the fire of 1885 which ravaged it, with the exception of the tower of the "bookstore" where the oratory, the chamber and the library of the philosopher Montaigne were.

At the first floor of the tower, a chapel reminds that Montaigne was an ardent catholic. From his chamber, situated over the chapel, the philosopher could listen to the Mass from a small lodge fitted out for that purpose, connected with the chapel by an acoustic conduit.

The "bookstore" is in the second floor. In the beams of the ceiling, we can again read about tens of Latin and Greek maxims that the philosopher had made engraved. Throughout is life, he had them erased to register new ones, what explains why some are stacked.

The castle was bought by the great-great-grandfather of Montaigne and was restored by his father. The philosopher was born in the castle in 1533. Parliament Concillor and mayor of Bordeaux, he meets Etienne de la Boetie from Sarlat there. In 1570, he withdraws from the public life.

The next year, taking up the inheritage from his father, he settles down in the castle. It is there that he received twice, in 1584 and 1587, Henri de Navarre(future Henri IV), the leader of the Protestant party to which he lavished his enlightened pieces of advice. He went out among his family, on September 13th,1592, having published the first edition of the Essays in 1580.



 

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