History

This luscious area of the Garonne valley has been inhabited since prehistorical periods (Aurignacian, and earlier). In the time of Julius Caesar, the roman road from Tolosa (Toulouse) to Lugdunum Convenarum (Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges) passed nearby.

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(Raymond the 7th, Count of Toulouse)

The area suffered from destruction caused by the Vandals, then enjoyed some peace under the reign of the Wisigothic kings. After the conquest by the Franks, during the Middle Ages, Palaminy is under the rule of the Counts of Toulouse, the Counts of Foix or the Counts of Comminges.

In 1245, the local Lord, Roger of Aspet, a cousin to the Count of Comminges, acknowledges feudal rights to the Count of Toulouse, Raimond the 7th (son of Raymond the 6th and of Princess Joan of England, sister of King Richard the Lionhearted).

Circa 1260, his heir and successor, his only daughter, Joan of Toulouse, married with Alfonso of Poitiers (brother of the King of France Louis IX – Saint Louis, and a great grandson of Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen of England). Together, they decided to build here a new town (here called “bastides”). This prince of the Capetian House of France establishes a chart for common freedom and rights. Since then, the inhabitants of Palaminy have maintained their local autonomy and have chosen their two “consuls” to govern their city council every year until 1789.

Through his marriage with Princess Agnès of Navarra, a niece of the King of France, eminent Gaston Count of Foix (Gaston Fébus) is Lord of Palaminy from 1349 to 1391. Froissart, well known writer, and an admirer of Fébus, related his journey to Palaminy , which he qualifies as a “good walled city”, a day when its wooden bridge over the Garonne had just been carried away by a flood. When Gaston Fébus became Lord of Palaminy, the two “consuls” immediately asked him to confirm their freedom charts. The answer was carefully preserved, and a 17th century copy was still of legal use to protect the rights of local commoners up until the French Revolution.

Palaminy was a stage on one of the pilgrims’way to Santiago de Campostela (the Garonne valley sideway linking Saint Sernin of Toulouse and Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges). In the village church, a splendid gold gilt wood statue of the Apostle Saint James reminds us of the pilgrims’ devotion.

The Barons of L’Isle d’Arbéchan (nowadays L’Isle-de-Noé, Gers) had residency in the castle in 1400 A.D. One of them, Gaspard de L’Isle, was a great captain who became famous in the victory against Talbot at the battle of Castillon (July 17th, 1453), which ended the Hundred Years’ War. He built the nearby castle of Couladère.

In 1499, his grand-nephew, Paul de Fontaines, heading a private squad, took the castle by force. Much later, The Courts of Toulouse enventually endorsed his violent seizure for reasons of inheritance.

François de Tersac, Baron of Montberaud, is Lord of Palaminy at the time of the French Wars of Religion. He was one of the leaders of the Catholic League in the region. Eventually, King Henry IV, showing generosity and political sense, recognized with honour the fidelity and the courage of his former foes : by a special mention in the treaty signed in 1598 with the Duke of Joyeuse, he gave to the Lord of Palaminy a retainer of 1200 écus, and a title of “Gentleman of the Royal Chamber”.

Under the reign of Louis the 15th, Samuel Eimar, a reputable lawyer and financier became in 1724 the owner of the castle of Palaminy. In 1727, he is nominated “Capitoul” of the City of Toulouse. He holds the second rank of honour in the City Council of Toulouse, among the eight “capitouls”, still remembered today by the eight pink marble columns of the famous “Capitole” (City Hall of Toulouse).

In the year 1729, his son marries Louise-Françoise de Lévis-Léran, daughter of Paul-Louis de Lévis, Marquis de Léran. The descendants of this couple have owned the castle of Palaminy ever since. In 1789, Dominique-Louis Eimar de Palaminy worked actively in the preparations of the États-Généraux (Royal Parliament). He was also elected by the local nobility as Secretary for the area, and later as Deputy of the Representative. He wrote most of the local “cahier de doléances”, asking for long due reforms such as freedom of the press, a yearly budget submitted to the Parliament and equal taxing for all citizens. In 1793, in the period of the revolutionary terror, he was arrested and sent to prison. Thanks to a petition by the inhabitants of his village of Laloubère (near Tarbes), eventually he escaped decapitation by the guillotine and was released.

At the very beginning of the 20th century, Samuel, Marquis of Palaminy, restored the main castle courtyard, giving it back its Renaissance features, which had been slightly obscured through various changes during the 18th and 19th centuries.