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Castle of the Marquis de Sade
Lacoste and surrounding
Castles, Fortresses, Towers
Castles, Fortresses, Towers

Lacoste is like hundreds of other villages scattered across the hills of Provence: yellow limestone houses, many of which are at least half a thousand years old, stone gates, a bell tower, cobbled streets, and a castle (Chateau de Lacoste) towering over the village. Chateau de Lacoste was founded in the 11th century and belonged to the noble Simiane family. It would have remained unremarkable among the numerous castles of Provence, if not for one dark and tragic story that happened here 500 years ago.

The castle became a property of the grandfather of Donatien Alphonse François (full name of the Marquis de Sade), who inherited it from one of the members of the Simiane family. Later, the Marquis de Sade received the castle as a wedding gift. Chateau de Lacoste was described in the books of Sade (120 Days of Sodom) and the author's biography, filled with sensual depravity and forbidden pleasures.

Donatien was an extremely controversial person and, undoubtedly, mentally ill: he was a fighter against morality, a promoter of pleasure through the pain of another person, and at the same time an educated, refined aristocrat, whose parties at the castle always delighted guests. Sade built a theater for 100 people in a former quarry, where he staged his own plays, while young commoners, kidnapped by de Sade to satisfy perverted carnal desires, were languishing in the basements of the castle. The rest of the Marquis's life was a series of dirty pleasures and imprisonments (he spent 30 of his 74 years in prison). The Marquis de Sade was the escape king. Three times he took refuge in his Chateau de Lacoste. He ended up in a prison hospital for the mentally ill, where he wrote his philosophical works and pornographic novels on toilet paper.

The castle was destroyed during the Great French Revolution by the rebels, as well as the inhabitants of Lacoste, who hated Sade. 200 years later, in the middle of the 20th century, a lonely fan spent all his money and all his life on the restoration of the castle.

Address: route de Lacoste

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