In The Beginning

In the early years of the 1700's Louis Gaspard de Sales, Marquis de Gudanes, Baron of Chateau Verdun and Aston, and King of the Pyrenees embarked on a 10 year project to build his castle. Prominent French architect, Ange-Jacque Gabriels was engaged to design Gaspard de Sales' dream home!. Louis Gaspard de Sales was a regular visitor at the French Court and understood the works of Gabriels - a master of neoclassical symmetrical architecture. Born to a Parisian family of architects Gabriel was made a member of the Academy of Royal Architecture in 1728. He was the principal assistant to his father as Premier Architecte at Versailles from 1735 and succeeded him in the position in 1742, essentially making him the premier architect of France, a role he retained for most of the reign of Louis VX.

His Petit Trianon at Versailles is one of the highlights of French Classicism. As one wanders through the 'rues' of Paris, more evidence of his architecture is obvious, including Hotel de Crillon, Place de la Concorde and l'Ecole Militaire.

In the 1750's, Chateau de Gudanes was constructed. It is written that it was the place to be wined and dined. Aristocrats, nobleman, artists and writers including Voltaire and Diderot made the journey to enjoy l'ambiance.

Located in Ariege nestled in a valley in the Midi Pyrenees between Les Cabannes and Chateau Verdun, it now slouches defeated by old age and the asperity of ownership.