Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saint Saturnin and other estates

Olympe, what is that beautiful picture at the top of your blog?
So glad you asked! (Even though you didn't) It is the Chateau of Saint-Saturnin, ancestral seat of the De la Tour family, who were, in actuality, Counts and Countesses of Auvergne.

Auvergne, as a region, is located sort of in the lower middle of France. It was a very volcanic area eons ago, and so there are a lot of mountains and good, black volcanic earth for growing crops.

There are four major regions within the province, and it can get confusing sometimes when researching Auvergne because the boundaries now aren't quite the same as before the revolution. Shocker.
Saint-Saturnin the village, is located in the area known as Puy de Dome, referring of course to those aforementioned dead volcanoes. Technically the de la Tour family bred too many girls and lost the County and castles to the French crown when Catherine de Medici inherited their claims, but in my alternate history they continued to hold it at least up until Olympe marries and transfers it to the control of her husband's family. They could, on the other hand, make an agreement similar to many others (like the Bowes-Lyons of England) and insist that any man marrying her has to take their family name as well, hyphenated of course. This was quite common, which is how you get people with names like 'Cretien de la Motte de Viviers Sur la Loire, Comte de Provence" Okay, I made that one up, but it happened.

The page for Saint Saturnin is http://www.route-chateaux-auvergne.org/Chateau_de_Saint_Saturnin_anglais.htm I bookmarked the English version for you, so enjoy. Of course, in my version since the family continued to hold it, the castle has undergone slightly more renovation, but I imagine the outside would look largely the same.

Naturally, holding the whole region, they have other castles, but this one is their seat and remains Olympe's preference, outside of Riom (the capital of Auvergne), and Versailles (ostensibly the capital for french nobility at the time). For information on other possible castles see http://pagesperso-orange.fr/chateau.de.la.vigne/en/index.htm http://www.chateau-de-val.com/ http://www.route-chateaux-auvergne.org/Chateau_de_Lespinasse_anglais.htm http://www.route-chateaux-auvergne.org/Chateau_Opme_anglais.htm

Or for a complete list of the castles of Auvergne itself (not necessarily related to the family), see http://www.route-chateaux-auvergne.org/liste_anglais.htm.

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