The home of Montesquieu
Spring break - time to hang out and enjoy time together as a family. Unfortunately, this Spring Break has not been full of sunny warm days that one hopes for in early May. It's not been too bad, but we have had to pick and choose our days to venture out and about between rain showers, clouds and cooler weather.
Earlier this week, we headed to Chateau de La Brede, a feudal castle dating back to the middle ages. It was built in 1306 in Gothic style with a moat and an English garden surrounding the building itself.. It is located in the center of a vineyard, which was very important to Montesquieu. Montesquieu's family owned this property and the philosopher was born, lived and wrote from this place. He very much enjoyed his vineyard and would spend from March to October here overseeing the wine season. The property was kept by descendants of his family up until 2004 when it was bequeathed to a Foundation allowing it to serve as a museum and a remembrance to the famed philosopher.
The visit includes both access to the grounds, and a guided tour of the castle. There are no photographs allowed inside the chateau, but the tour is very interesting and its fascinating to see the how the building has been updated through the ages. Many rooms are still decorated as they were in the times of Montesquieu, but others have been updated to show more modern use from the later family descendants. Montesquieu loved to travel and often collected souvenirs from places he visited, many of these are still inside.
The tour and walk around the property took only a couple of hours and it was a wonderful afternoon activity. The little village of La Brede is also very quaint with shops, patisseries & restaurants. We were there on a Monday, so the village was very quiet, but still charming in it's own way.