History of Fontanges

When you arrive in the Hostelerie de Fontanges, wich is a short distance from the old city of the Ruthenes, you will be surprised by the impressive historical residence that has recently been restored and where you will be welcomed as a guest.
Throught the dining room windows, you can enjoy the splendour of the illuminated cathedral clock tower.

Equally surprising is the name of the Chateau
Why Fontanges ?

FONTANGES means : Font Tencha, the source of the red clay of Causse.

The well-informated tourist wiil want to go deeper and know the history of the Château.
Here are the main facts :
From 1280, the land belonged to the Balaquier family.
In 1422 the lord of Belcastel, Alzias de Saunhac owned a third of the land, the remaining percentage belonged to the chapter of Rodez.

At the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century some additional parts were added to the Château, for exemple, a stucco chimney was built in the kitchen.

Hostellerie de Fontanges
Hostellerie de Fontanges

In 1564 a building with a tower was constructed and called "the new house of FONTANGES".

The present Château was built between the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century for a rich draper from the city of Rodez, Raymond d'Austry.

He built the tower on five levels that can still be seen from the central courtyard of the hotel ;
The tower was designed by Pierre Tournie D'Ambec from Rodez, and then Bernard and Antoine Persec from Ste Radegonde continued the work.

Another mason from Ambec erected a second tower on the Floyrac side with Fraissinhon, a tiler, completing the work.
On one of the two chimneys, Raymond d'Austry sculpted his coat of arms.
The design is of an ostrich and it reads "figure boufarele de l'Auster ou vent du midi".
In the present dining room of the Château, which was previously the largest room, one can admire the French style ceiling painted by an artist who also decorated the joists of another hotel in Rodez built by Raymond d'Austry that no longer stands.

Unfortunately the murals can no longer be seen. At the time, each space between the windows and the facing walls was decorated in a trompe l'oeil style resembling statues in their alcoves.

Hostellerie de Fontanges

In 1654, the widow of Jean d'Austry who was the President of the Presidial of Rodez rented the estate and took up residence.
The management of the estate passed to the Chartreux then the Jacobins of Rodez who maintained the estate regularly.
The estate was sold as state property on 11 March 1781.
The estimated value was £44.669, it was auctioned off at £77.400 to Descombes, a bourgeois from Truel, parish of Conulet ( Bessuéjouls).

Hostellerie de Fontanges

Route de Conques Marcillac - D 901 - 12850 ONET LE CHATEAU - RODEZ
Tél. +33 5 65 77 76 00 | Fax +33 5 65 42 82 29

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