Domaine et Fondation de la Castille

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Our story

mercredi 8 janvier 2014, par Daniel Carle

Origin of La Castille

Château La Castille’s name originates from the 16th Century when France was at war against the Holy Roman Empire. In 1924, Emperor Charles V’s armies invaded Provence and the estate became, for a time, living quarters for the Imperial Regiments of Castile.

Historical figures who owned Château La Castille

Although the estate has quite probably been planted with vines since Roman Antiquity, it is first specifically mentioned in historical writings in the late 15th Century. The known history of the domain goes back to the reign of Good King René, Duke of Anjou and Count of Provence. In 1467, the Blétonèdes family’s lands were acquired by Palamède de Forbin. In 1481, when the province was integrated within the kingdom of France, Forbin became Grand Lieutenant of Provence.

Sold by the Forbin family in 1716, the estate became the property of Louis de Selle, Advisor to the King and General Treasurer of the Navy in Toulon in 1730. It was he who built the château in its present form, and had the grand vaulted cellars dug by inmates of Toulon in 1730.

The Aubert Family and the Church

In 1829 the estate was sold to the Aubert family, silk merchants from Lyon, who would go on to develop it throughout the 19th Century.

Mr. Frédéric Aubert’s widow was the last of the Aubert Family following the death of her husband in 1922. Both their children had passed away. Their son had died during his studies to become a priest. Madame Aubert, with no descendants, bequeathed the domain to the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, requesting that the house be devoted to the reception and training of priests.

Following this, the Grand Seminary opened in 1929. A year later, the chapel was built. The same year, major work was completed on the old flour mill, transforming it into the Villa St. Charles, a retirement home for elderly priests.

Since 1979, the estate has received official recognition as a Foundation of Public Service : its missions are essentially to welcome groups, families and the elderly, offering training for adults, a home for retired priests, organising of events, etc. These projects are provided for in part by the sales of produce from the domain and the vineyard.

In 1983, after a break of 25 years, Bishop Madec decided to reopen the seminary, which currently provides training for over 60 future priests.