Our friend and All Souls kindred spirit Christine has recently taken a field trip to Château des Anges Déchus, Gerbert of Aurillac’s home in the Cantal and Château du Sailhant in real life. Christine, who lives in the Auvergne (lucky), has taken some spectacular photos of this property, which you can admire on her Instagram account. The property is carefully and lovingly maintained by its current owner, architect and conservationist, Joseph Pell Lombardi. We asked Christine to give us her impressions of the castle and she was happy to oblige. Thank you Christine!
[by Christine F.]
First of all, do not believe that access to the castle is problematic. The castle is set up to receive a large number of visitors.
The entrance is surrounded by a wall and closed with a gate at the edge of the property. The castle is located on a hill overlooking the town of Andelat, and it is built in the middle of a ridge, with a large driveway to reach it, and on the other side large pleasant garden, which is secluded an quiet. I just love it!
Crossing the porch where we are waiting for the guide, I can immediately picture Gerbert’s arrival by car on horseback. I do not know why I visualized everything happening 200 years ago. The decor lends itself naturally.
The castle has the emblem of the boar. On the premises, there is a game for the children, who can enjoy counting the number of wild boars during their visit, and then win a prize when they report back to the castle reception.
The rooms and halls are very well restored by the new owner and you can easily imagine Gerbert and his friends roam the halls and rooms. The atmosphere is not heavy and the colors and furnishings are rich, mostly seem to be from the time of construction. Our guide told us that the red room has been restored to its original tones of the medieval era. It’s beautiful, the room is very large with antique wood furniture, and a large carved four-poster bed.
After visiting the interior, we went out into the courtyard and garden and there I confess that I could see Gerbert monitor the surroundings, welcome his disciples, concoct his misdeeds. It is really a place that lands itself to scheming. At the end of the courtyard, there is a building that I picture as a “guardhouse,” although that the guide has preferred to call “dungeon.” I think it looks more like a square tower to house the guards on duty.
Finally, we visited the chapel at the end of a beautiful arbor and overlooking the city below.
Quite frankly, I thought of Deborah the whole time and our villain Gerbert. His presence is everywhere. It’s uncanny!
The castle has such a medieval presence, I had the impression to be watched as I left. Gerbert is real. He is there, in ghost form!
The towers of Château des Anges Dechus grew smaller and smaller behind them until they disappeared from sight.—The Book of Life, Ch. 23.
Merci Christine !
Château du Sailhant: Sailhant.com
Address: Château du Sailhant, Lieu dit Le Sailhant, 15100 Andelat
Château du Sailhant on Joseph Pell Lombardi’s (owner) website: JosephPellLombardi.com/?homes_page=chateau-du-sailhant
Château du Sailhant though the ages: May take a few seconds to download
Nearby Rentals: For those wishing to stay overnight or multiple nights at the foot of the castle, the castle owner has three beautiful houses available for rent. You can contact the Sailhant owner or rent the properties via Airbnb. When you rent one of these properties, the tour of the castle is available at no charge.
Bonus: Enjoy an aerial view of the castle!