About Donjon Lacataye
The Donjon Lacataye is the keep of a 14th-century castle, constructed by order of Gaston Phébus in the commune of Mont-de-Marsan in the Landes département of France. Today, it houses the Musée Despiau-Wlérick.
History of Donjon Lacataye
La Cataye consists of two joined Romanesque houses, which is easily visible while entering the current museum. The internal wall includes Romanesque windows which demonstrates that one of the two houses was built before the second. These houses belonged to the Viscount’s family and were more or less abandoned starting from the 15th century when the Viscounts moved away from their town of origin. During the 16th century, their upper parts were modified.
In 1860, Antoine Lacaze, mayor and owner of the keep, gave it to the town to house troops. It later became the departmental barracks until 1875, when the soldiers moved to the Bosquet barracks in the town. The keep preserved the name Caserne Lacaze (Lacaze Barracks) for nearly a century, in spite of a succession of civil uses including a boarding school for young girls, a gymnastics centre and a municipal workshop.
Donjon Lacataye Today
In 1968, mayor Charles Lamarque-Cando inaugurated in the keep a museum of modern figurative sculpture (the Musée de Mont-de-Marsan). The museum is open to the public.
It has been listed since 1942 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
Getting to Donjon Lacataye
From the centre of Toulouse, Donjon Lactaye is reachable in around 2 hours 40 minutes via the A62 road. A number of transport options are available which stop off at Gare de Mont de Marsan, from where the site is a 15 minute walk.