On the outskirts of a village 4 kilometers west of Uzès, d’Arpaillargues castle is a beautiful 18th century residence, now transformed into the Hotel d’Agoult. It once belonged to a family made famous by Listz’s great love, Marie de Flavigny, who resided here.
In the 15th Century the Lords of the estate were the Bertha who were originally from Velay, then through marriage, the Ginestoux family. In 1559 the Bargetons acquired the castle, and it was passed on to the D’Agoult family in 1647 on the marriage of Mondette de Bargeton with Charles D’Agoult of Piégnon.
Their granddaughter Françoise received Arpaillargues in her dowry on her marriage to Jean de Barjac de Rochegude, a Protestant, who then went into exile in Switzerland. Arpaillargues was returned to Argoult by the Nîmes tribunal after the French Wars of Religion in 1723.
In 1735 Charles d’Agoult of Montmaur abandoned his castle in Dauphiné to move to Arpaillargues. According to a recovered inventory, it was an uncomfortable dwelling so Marquis Henri François d’Agoult, a former naval lieutenant, began immense reconstruction work, despite his considerable financial difficulties.
Charles d’Agoult, husband of Marie de Flavigny, was born in the castle in 1790. He sold the castle to a former trader, Gabriel Puget. In 1907, it was owned by the Huguet family. It was in a state of dilapidation and the garden leased to a farm when it was bought by Messrs. Hambury and Schootemeyer in 1964. Then in 1973 it was bought and converted into a hotel by the Savry family.
More so than for its for history, the Arpaillargues castle is interesting due to its literary references. In a great scandal of its time, Choderlos de Laclos claimed to be inspired by the Marquise d’Agoult de Montmaur to portray Madame de Merteuil in “Les liaisons Dangereuses”. In “Les illusions perdues”, Balzac borrowed characters from the Bargeton family. Finally, contemporary writer François Nourrissier (« Le Maître de Maison ») lived in the castle for several years.