The history of the place
Place Pétrarque was created in 1715 by the enlargement of Rue Embouque d’Or to its meeting point with Rue de l’Aiguillerie, which was undertaken to allow a better view of a building façade commissioned by the Mi de Chirac. The pediment to this façade, one of the only examples of its type in Montpellier, dominates the square.
Hôtel Baudan de Varennes
The façade is pure 18th century in style. This house is a patchwork of style and space. It is the result of a regrouping of most likely three parcels of land in the 17th century, each being previously occupied by a gentleman's house, grown rich on the Montpellier trade in dyeing.
We know that Montpellier was very famous for its cloth dyeing industry. Pieces of cloth were dyed red with powdered extracts from the kermes oak. These fabrics were highly sought-after in the East, where they were exchanged for silk, spices and perfumes. Thanks to trade, you can marvel at a magnificent gothic arch behind this Louis XV façade leading onto our restaurant.
The ground floor was used during the middle ages as a shop or warehouse. A triptych window gives magnificent views of a vast 14th century room whose vaulted ceiling rests on piers formed into specially constructed columns. An image of two important figures has permanent residence, presiding over the room:Pope Urban V, who built the Saint Pierre Cathedral in the 15th century and Jacques I of Aragon, the conquistador King born in Montpellier in 1208.
Mas de Londres Castle Gate
In the small inner courtyard, in addition to the well which reminds us that Montpellier was built on a favourable site, because it benefits from an abundant water table, we also see the main gate from Mas de Londres castle.Removed from the castle before the Revolution, it was placed in Montpellier (Jardin des Plantes) and then transported in 1972 to its current location. Mas de Londres castle was a pleasure palace where Renaissance architects excelled themselves to create one of the wonders of the period.
Rule of "Castel de Londres" was acquired in 1460 from the Bérard family by Antoine de Lantrec, Lord and Baron of La Roquette. In 1658, the Lord of La Roquette was made into a Marquis by Henri de Roquefeuil. Following the pastoral visit in 1684, the priesthood of La Roquette castle became a permanent vicariate dependency of the priory at Saint Martin de Londres, in other words, of the Benedictines at Saint-Guilhem. Its patron was Gérald Abbé.
In 1715, Mas de Londres castle or "Castel de la Roquette" belonged to the Marquis of Villevielle; but justice will out, and in this castle that was in ruins since Richelieu, the prison cells remain. The Count of Vinerac was Lord of La Roquette from 1749 until the Revolution.