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  • The Château of Vauvenargues is a fortified bastide in the village of Vauvenargues, situated to the north of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, just outside the town of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. Built on a site occupied since Roman times, it became a seat of the Counts of Provence in the middle ages, passing to the Archbishops of Aix in the thirteenth century. It acquired its present architectural form in the seventeenth century as the family home of the marquis de Vauvenargues. After the French revolution it was sold to the Isoard family, who despite their humble origins eventually installed their coat of arms in the chateau. Nineteenth century additions include a ceramic maiolica profile in the Italian renaissance style of René of Anjou, one of the former owners, and a small shrine containing the relics of St Severin. In 1929 the chateau was officially listed as a historic monument. In 1943 it was sold by the Isoard family to three industrialists from Marseille, who stripped it of its furnishings and mural decoration, some of which still survives in the Château of La Barben. In 1947 it became a vacation centre for a maritime welfare institution.

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