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Whilst the defensive features of this old fortress remain the highlights of the village, it is time and the owners' deep attachment to the place that have transformed it into a majestic residence open to light. The variety of trees in the park play with the sun and the hot stone in an almost Italian atmosphere. Inside, centuries follow one another from room to room in refined comfort. In this region of hills, vineyards and scrubland, the Mediterranean sea (within easy reach) brings an air of history and holidays.
The castle dates back to the 12th century. It has been owned by my family since 1764. In 2005, my husband and I bought the shares of my two sisters. Since then, we have never stopped renovating the property in order to provide it with all the necessary modern comforts while still maintaining its authenticity and family atmosphere.
Following the onslaught of wars and a fire, the castle itself has undergone many transformations over the centuries. The dark windows of the 12th century fortified castle succeeded the somewhat more pleasant ones of the Renaissance whose ridges were topped with a crown of balusters and capitals that matched the tasteful interiors. In the 17th century, the Renaissance embrasures were in turn replaced by large bay windows with small, Trianon-style pains on the main facade. During the first half of the 20th century, the castle was no longer maintained and the north wing in particular quite literally fell into ruin. From the sixties onwards, the Ecal family undertook the systematic restoration of the castle and the Italian-style gardens which surround it. The chateau was therefore restored with a cachet all of its own in an unchanging rural setting whose light and vegetation are reminiscent of Tuscany. Since 2005, the interior rooms of the chateau (living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.) have been renovated in order to provide our guests with optimum comfort.
The Château d'Agel was one of the fortified castles built to prolong the resistance of the vassal lords of the count of Toulouse at the time of the Albigensian crusade. The oldest room that has been preserved tells us that in the year 1100, it belonged to Bernarde, Lord of Agel, Minerve and Cazelles. Until 1543, it belonged to the Lords of Minerve, then from 1543 to 1764 to the Beauxhostes family. In 1764, it was sold to Jean d'Augier, Viguier de Narbonne and became the property of the Ecal family who still own it to this day.
A stay in a historic house off the beaten track. It is in the heart of the Minervois, amidst vineyards and hills covered with scrubland and pines. A two-hectare park with a heated swimming pool and a variety of trails for hiking and horse riding. A place for lovers of authenticity, calm, nature and heritage.
The site of Minerve, the Abbey of Fontfroide, the Cathar castles and of course Carcassonne. The Relais Chantovent restaurant in Minerve, the local markets of Saint-Chinian and Olonzac, the temple of the Lucques l'Olibo olive. Tastings with local producers of wine (notably the Château d'Agel estate) and olives.
The castle can host management seminars for up to fourteen people. Guests will have access to the entire rentable part of the chateau and seven bedrooms to accommodate them in the same building. Many activities can be organised upon request including wine tastings, horse riding and games.
The castle and vineyard can be explored on the weekends. We offer tours of the wine cellars and vineyard on horseback or in a 4x4, food and wine tastings, «blending workshops» with the grape varieties of the castle and a gourmet dinner prepared by passionate chefs.