The Château Hermitage de Combas finds its origins on the bases of an ancient fortress from the Middle Age, raised around 1260. The fief of Combas, seat of a priory in the 14th century, belonged in 1694 to Charles de Montagut, Lord of Combas. It remained the property of the Montagut family (Charles, Alphonse de Montagut, 1704 and Catherine de Levat his widow, in 1742), until June 11, 1749, when it was bought by Jean-François Daydé. Then, the castle passed into the family of M. de Barrès Servian on July 24, 1813 when it was sold to Antoine Hyacinthe RousselIt. Yet, it did not remain to them for long as Etienne Balme and Etienne Laurès de Murviel acquired it on March 2, 1826.
Château Hermitage de Combas
Finally, on December 22, they decided to sell the Château to the Marquis of Thézan-Saint Géniès. The marquis of Thézan-Saint Géniès and his marquise, née de Bourdeille de Matha, carried out important extension projects of the 75-hectare Hermitage de Combas domain.
Thanks to him, we have some information about the restoration undertaken: "the already existing walls were used by moving the farm buildings outside in order to free the enclosure whose solid foundations served as a framework for a new construction. The towers were raised, a large staircase was built, as well as the chapel. On the second floor, large rooms were planned to receive the paintings, furniture and family heirlooms taken from the castles of St Génies and Corneilhan”.
He also referred to the framework created for the new castle: "The Marquise de St Géniès, endowed with an enlightened taste, traced and planted the formal garden, extended to the park’s north and encircled with trees; now old of a hundred years of age but which still procure a majestuous ornamental effect. A dam was built to stop the waters of St Michel and Combas river’s stream, its light was widened when it was close to the garden, forming afterwards a kind of lake; thereby the land coming out of it was used for many purposes ”.
It is therefore an interesting example of the early restoration of an ancient castle which did not completely satisfy the later wine-growing generation. Indeed, the last Marquis de Thézan-Saint Géniès added a bell tower and a pinnacle, nostalgically acknowledged: "space was needed, so the exterior was too often sacrificed to interior fittings". In fact, his ancestors knew that the major interest of their home would be the furniture, portraits and archives of Thézan-Saint Géniès which made L’Hermitage a place of memory as to the history of our country since the Middle Ages
During the 18th century, the Saint Géniès couple had only one daughter (who became the wife of sir Baron de Maussac, member of the Lords of Corneilhan’s family), Louis XV erected in 1750 for the Baron’s benefit, the Saint Géniès’ marquisate including in particular the lands of this name and those of the Lords of Corneilhan. This second house died out with our precious informant (as we mentioned in the general presentation), his father then giving him this 52ha estate valued at 200,000F. He died in 1943 after having instituted as heir his cousin, the Duke of Lévis - Mirepoix, of the French Academy.
Since 2020, Château Hermitage de Combas belongs to Jean-Marc Bardou.
A new chapter
In 2020, Jean-Marc Bardou is relaunching the estate’s tourist activity around the castle and the Hameau. Innovation, entrepreneurial ambition and a demand for superior quality and hospitality are the basis of the castle’s values. Moreover, major works are being undertaken to renovate buildings, gardens and at the same time a massive catering hall. Consequently, the Château Hermitage de Combas is now capable to welcome visitors -either couple, families or group of friends- who are looking for a quiet and serene place for spending holidays, offering them elegant and modern apartments. The most important innovation and the novelty of the Château Hermitage de Combas is the possibility to host family or professional events. The reception hall is more than 400m² large and offers a beautiful view of the garden. It has been redesigned and can now welcome the most prestigious events. Professional and pioneer in his vocation, Jean-Marc Bardou is also the head of a thriving family business born 44 years ago, owning besides three 5 * village & spa campsites on the Mediteranean coastline.