Castle that was home to Pauline de Simiane, granddaughter of the Marquise de Sévigné. The library contains incunables and a collection of rare books.
The Hôtel de Simiane is built on the remains of an old house that was constructed by the Montauban family in the 13th century. In the 14th century, Hugues Aymeric had the two buildings which are still visible along the Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville built. The main part of the current building was built in 1639 by the Cavaillonnais entrepreneur, Bernard Moureau, according to the plans of the Avignon architect François Royer de la Valfenière, for Louis de
Simiane. This architect was responsible for the design of many buildings in the Comtat, notably, the bishopric of Carpentras. It was not until about 1780 that the symmetry of the property was restored, with the replacement of an old building by the south wing. This was the work of Avignonnais architect Franque, who also designed the bishopric of Viviers. In 1823, the Château de Simiane was home to the college and the Justice of the Peace. It was not until 1843, by order of King Louis Philippe, that the city of Valréas was authorised to buy the castle, which then became the Valréas Town Hall and the post office. In 1913, the Château de Simiane was classified as a historical monument.
The building today consists of two distinct parts.
To the west, the oblique wing of the fourteenth century comprises two buildings aligned, the largest of which houses a room per floor. Above the lower room located on the ground floor, the so-called Saint-Christou room on the first floor is illuminated by broken windows, only one having been walled off on the south facade. At the top lies the Scharff room, whose four-sided roof was originally covered by a set of complex diaphragm arches dating back to the 14th century. From there, a stolen passage, carried by the great arc that spans the street of the Hotel de Ville, led to missing buildings (hayloft, stables).
The main body of l’Hotel de Simiane occupies the entire width of the ground. Its two symmetrical wings either side frame the main courtyard. It has a Doric portico resembling the Colosseum, most likely inspired by the architect’s years of training in Rome. The style of windows on the building’s facade were also at that time called “the Roman''. Crowned by a belvedere, the central staircase which embodies a parallel flight of stairs, as seen throughout the previous century, leads to the 1st and 2nd floor galleries. To the south, the ground floor portico opens out onto the lower room of the mediaeval wing and to the north, it opens onto a staircase which was added in the 19th century; it separates the kitchen, annexes, vaulted edges, servants’ room, bakery etc., from the rest of the building.
Through the remarkable old doors lies a very large number of ancient volumes as well as some incunabula. The doors of the 18th century cupboards were taken from the hospital’s old pharmacy, which was restored in 1930.
Entry with the Vaucluse Provence Pass, from May 15, 2019
Opening time :
July and August: 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm, every day
Rest of the year: 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm
Janvier, février, mars, octobre, novembre, décembre : 10h-12h / 14h-16h30 sauf les mardi, jeudi et vendredi matin (fermé les dimanche et lundi)
Avril, mai, juin, septembre : 10h-12h / 14h-17h sauf les mardi et jeudi matin (fermé les dimanche et lundi)
Juillet, août : tous les jours, 10h-12h30 / 14h30-18h.
Thematic of the place
Musuems and monuments