Auzon : a brief story of the past
Auzon is a place that already appears in archives since 1420 (fourteen twenty). This “first” document showing Auzon as a fief is own here, in the bookshelf in the Billiard room.
The others documents relative to Auzon are in Latin, old French and French. It has a great value historically speaking and we try to translate them.
There was a castle in 1680 (sixteen eighty) and still in 1786 (seventeen eighty six) with a tower and a chapel. Unfortunately, if we have description of the inside (rooms and furniture), we do not have any draws or paintings, nor plan.
Auzon is part of the “Bourbonnais” province which is now more or less the “Allier” district.
A “modern castle” has been built at one kilometre from here. The new house, called “les Louteaux” is part of the same property.
It seems that Auzon lost its chapel before the French revolution (1789).
Auzon has different owners, landlords, tobacco producer in the eighteenth century.
During the French revolution, and the worst period of it, in 1794, the owner of Auzon and les Louteaux is arrested and is killed (decapitated) in Paris at the same time that the princess of Monaco and others politic prisoners.
This man tried to help the local farmers to keep some foods and not to give it to the Government that request it to feed the army (France is in war with most of the countries of Europe)
During the French revolution, France is shared in district and Auzon property is divided in Allier and Nièvre districts. Allier is in Auvergne, and Nièvre in Burgundy.
Then, Auzon is bought in the early XIX (nineteen) th century by a Count from another part of france. His widow then shared Auzon in one part with 12 (twelve) farms, the water mill, and les Louteaux and two farms.
Then the daughter of the owner married the chevalier Charrier which was “prefet” de l’Allier, and Auzon came to their daughter, and so on till the grand father of the current owners, Count Victor de DURAT who inherited it from his mother.
During the “Charrier” period, Auzon is rebuilt has you can see the different option in the stairs of the north wing of the house. This gave the current appearance. There are almost forty rooms and ninety windows.
A large garden is drawn by the count of Choulot, a well-known architect who has drawn 300 gardens in Europe.
The lake is made on the river “Auzon” with an island and bridges (see the map in the hall), eights gardeners are in charge of the garden.
At the end of the XIX (nineteen) th century, the great grand mother travelled a lot all around the world and brought back some specific plants that give today the trees you can find around the house, Sophora (from Japan), Gingko biloba, Trees from Virginia and North America etc..
Till the years sixties, Auzon is able to live on itself, horses, cows, pigs and all animals of a farm, wine. The property lives in autarchy
Auzon has been a famous land for shooting and hunting. You can find wild boars, roe deers and lot of wild animals.
During the Second World War, the German army lived six month at Auzon and the family had to leave to another house located at sixty kilometres from here. The germans settled a Head Quarter here but did not destroy too many things.
So Auzon is in the same family since two hundred years.
In the bookshelf, many books of the eighteenth century talk about medicine and geography. There are lots of letters from the owners with the ministers, writers of the nineteenth century too.
The Durat family is one of the three hundred oldest families of France. It is known since the seventh crusade and has been part of the French military aristocracy.
Members of the family were at the Versailles Court, others fight with Lafayette for the independence of the United States. All the portrait of the house are members of the family, coming from different part of it (and from my mother family). At the right of the chimney in the living room, the Count de Brie had ninety-nine war injuries. You could notice that we can’t see one of his hands which has been frozen in the North Sea during a campaign. On the other side of the chimney, you see a “Mousquetaire” dated of 1679 (sixteen seventy-nine).
Count Victor de DURAT was one of the first pilots during the First World War. Lots of famous guest came into this house in the twentieth century from France or foreign personalities.
No ghosts in this house. Even if in this part of France, we do believe in haunted houses, Auzon is a quiet place!
We try now to prepare Auzon to be still a welcoming house and to improve the interior and exterior.