The origins of the Château Malijay date back to the eleventh century, with one ancient tower that escaped demolition being the last, poignant witness of that distant past. The tower houses a small, sympathetically restored chapel on the lower level, and its ribbed arches rest on columns rising from consoles sculpted with the symbols of the Four Evangelists. This Chapel was undoubtedly consecrated to the Holy Cross, as this name was also given to one of the farms on the estate, the two others being known as St. Louis and St. Charles. In 1314, Bertrand des Baux, the Prince of Orange, dictated his will in the upper level room of this same château overlooking the land known at the time as “Batisda de Sauverato.”
Monsignor de Légier, perfectly in step with the spirit of his age, simply took it upon himself to knock down the medieval fortress, no doubt too simple for Enlightenment tastes. Recycling the stones from the fortress, he instigated the building of the new château we admire today, a vast, harmonious residence with its dual staircase, its superb gates and railings in wrought iron, its vast wood-paneled halls, its stucco ceilings, and its painted pillars. In short, the château has all the charm and elegance of the refined eighteenth century.
If, as the tall château gates slowly open at sunset, with sunlight spreading over the front of the château, it seems that time stands still, it is because Malijay manages to act as a gateway between the past and the present, in a harmonious alliance of the heart and the mind.