We are now standing in Les Cars castle’s old moat, which is now a small lapidary museum called a « lapidarium ». It holds many of the castle’s archaeological vestiges, which date back to the castle’s age of plenty and history during the Renaissance.
After this period of luxury, Les Cars castle actually declined. And in the 18th century, when the French Revolution took place, its owners, the lords of Les Cars castle, joined the famous emigrants who fled the French Revolution. The castle was actually destroyed later on, since its central location in the village made it extremely tempting to use it as a quarry. Little by little, parts of it disappeared, leaving only the two towers you can still see today, which were once part of the original castle.
Therefore, the lapidary elements beside me, which indeed evoke the Renaissance, were only discovered after the excavations. Most of these elements were discovered in the moat. The assembly of different fragments enables us to restore decoration elements and statuary elements which once decorated the entire castle.
Among the elements that are most typical of the Renaissance, are the limestone sculptures, some of which were found during the castle excavations, and particularly this medallion. It represents the bust of a woman wearing a gorgon mask, holding her hair up. This type of sculpture was extremely common in the first half of the 16th century.
What is interesting about Les Cars castle as far, as enhancing heritage goes, is the assembly of monumental vestiges which are still visible, as well as lapidary elements, not to forget the stables which are currently being studied and whose equestrian decor is unique in France.