« A thousand-year-old appellation »
In 2008, the previous owners
Viviane and André Vossen decide,
to give the name back “Ad Francos” to the Château de Francs,
after having they save it from ruin.
More than a thousand years separate this resurrection
of the first written mention “Ad Francos” found
in a book dating from the year 1004, relating
the passage of the lord Saint-Abbon in Ad Francos.
The presence of a character such important in the castle,
confirms the importance of Ad Francos at the time.
Saint-Abbon is an important man of his time,
consecrated by Pope Gregory V “Grand Abbot of Gaul”.
He is also a recognized scientist
and the representative of the King of France.
Sarcophages Mérovégien taillés dans la roche au pied de l’ancienne église
« Les Ségur,
the first Lords of Francs »
Among all the families who have succeeded one another,
the first known are the Segur, an important family of Aquitaine,
who are at the origin of the fortification of the castle
probably around the XII century, but maybe a bit later.
In the 14th century, they will adopt the name of the founders
of the place and change their name to “Segur-des-Francs”.
« The Flamboyant Gothic »
La famille «The “Isle de Lalande” family give the castle,
the “Gothic Flamboyant” style that appears
on the facades, on a monumental cheminee,
and put its blazon on the stones of the castle.
It is this coat of arms which still figures today
on the bottles of wine of the Chateau Ad Francos.
« De Challons,
the last Lords of Francs »
Hardouin de Challons, Bishop of Lescars, heir to his uncle
Hardouin Gaufreteau, last in name. The new Lord is also
a great builder who brings to the castle two new wings
in extension on each side of the south facade,
creating the castle’s superb “courtyard of honor”.
The “De Chalons” are the last lords of Francs,
carried away by the revolutionary storm.
«Château de Francs » Leo Drouyn’s etchings made in 1863
« Ad Aeternam »
All these men and women of Francs complete the work
of their predecessors, giving the castle its unique
architecture so special, who bears in his stone
the traces of the tumults of history,
as much as the genius of its builders who, at each new
period, have enriched it with a new style.
They bequeathed to posterity a unique castle, endowed with
some pieces of rare architectures, like this superb
spiral stairway, the large gothic “flamboyant” fireplace,
or these extraordinary remains of the 12th century church
gone for centuries.
« The Vossen’s Odyssey »
Viviane and André Vossen,
with the help of their children architect and designer,
Joan Vossen and Stéphane Lebrun, will save
the castle of Francs of ruin, and give an admirable rebirth
under its orignal name : Ad Francos.
This “pharaonic” and «visionary» work
they have accomplished with strength and talent,
allows us today to assert that ever,
this castle will have been so beautiful
« across borders »
Qiong Er and Guillaume Brochard-Jiang,
the new owners of the premises, have the same passion
and the same love for this timeless and unconventional place.
They have great new ambitions
to radiate beyond the borders,
in a new era of prosperity and creativity,
the Ad Francos vessel.