Frederick Mistral

Fréderic Mistral founded, together with a group of young poets in Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, an institution designed to honour the Provençal language: “Le Félibrige”.

The Château de Fontségugne, in Chateauneuf-de-Gadagne, built around 1860, is located on the plateau of Cancabèu (Campbeau).

During the Revolution, its occupants quietly moved their belongings to their hotel in Avignon, the castle was neither looted nor burned, but carried away stone by stone.

Its doors, windows or locks still adorn the houses of the village.

In the 19th century, it had become the property of the Giera. However, Paul Giéra participated in a group of young poets of Provencal expression whom he often invited to the castle. At one of these meetings, on 21 May 1854, Paul Giéra, Joseph Roumanille, Théodore Aubanel, Anselme Mathieu, Jean Brunet, Anfos Tavan (local peasant poet) and Frédéric Mistral founded an institution to honour the Provençal language, 'Le Félibrige'. It is a movement whose ambition is to preserve, maintain and exalt the language, culture, civilization and identity of the lands, but also to promote a humanist ideal and to preserve our society its natural and wide diversity of expression. It is a disagreement over the Provençal graphic that is at the origin of the Félibrige.

Thus, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne became the birthplace of the Provencal Renaissance which had to work so much to defend the language and the maintenance of traditions. Fifty years later, in 1904, Frédéric Mistral was awarded one of the first Nobel Prizes in Literature and, even today, the Félibrige pursues the goals defined a century and a half earlier in the grounds of the castle of Fontségugne. One of the first documents written by the Félibrige was an almanac, 'L'Armana provençau', in 1855 which announced the next events and festivals, but above all contained the history of Provence, in order to instruct Provençals and introduce them to Provençal literature.

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