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La Grande Lauzade Chambres d'hôtes Le LUC VAR

The story of Old Prieuré...

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History of old Prieuré Lauzade:

histoire du monastere de la grande lauzade dans le Var


Commune of the LUC in PROVENCE, VAR,

Year 1958.

The Grande Lauzade, which contains essential historical testimonys, is presented at the visitor under the features of a large farmhouse of Provence: a long succession of farms and commun runs precede the House of Masters, with which the walls, very thick, are covered, outside, of cut stones. In the North of the building one notices bases of a square tower with traces of postern, as well as the remainders of an old rampart, while in the south is the crenelated apse of a church also built in fort beautiful stones limestones. In all this unit, one notice a construction of the XIth and XIIth century, but having undergone, in the course of time, several rehandlings, and remained in the current state since the end of the XIXth. We are on the site of an old monastery, in the enclosure of an old rural village of which here history, written after study of the places, by Mr. BAUDOIN Louis (1892-1983), historian of Seyne, member of the Company of the Natural science since 1946, drawing its documentation with the most serious sources and, in particular, handwritten notes left by the scientist canon Espitalier, former historiographer of the Bishops of Frejus.

The abundance of the currencies struck with the effigies of Néron, Vespasien and other emperors, collected around Grande Lauzade, the great number of tombs met in the fields, the lucky finds of multiple vestiges (tiles with edge, potteries, grinding stones, etc...) attest an important settlement of the places at the time Gallo-Roman: fundi with their sanctuaries, vicus farmers, the whole established on good grounds, equipped with sources many and close to wood crowned. Let us add that we are here not far from a main road of Antiquity, the Aurélienne Way which, with one mile, coming from Frejus, inflects towards Cabasse.
But the end of the Empire approached already, with the IIIth century, the Barbarians of North, had pressed the ground of Gaule. After the fall of Rome, the area of Provence, devastated by the successive floods of the invasions, sees passing, turn with the IVth and Vth centuries: Followed vandals, Burgondes and Visigoths, with the VIth of the Franks and Lombards. Sarrazins will came later and, during two hundred fifty years, will decimate our regions. It is, for this sad period, that the inhabitants of La Grande Lauzade had to take refuge, at the critical hours, on a height known as of "Magdeleine" or "Retrache", thus re-occupying old the oppidum ligure which, of a proud slope, dominates of the west the vast plain of the Luc.
It is necessary to arrive at the XI' and XII' centuries for, to find, in the charters, the presence, in Lauzade, of a church dedicated to the Mother of Christ, under the term of "Daurata". In addition it is manifest that it is the same church which will receive, subsequently, the name "Sancta Maria de Laudata" (Rented N.D.), which will become, into of Provence: "the lauzado". All the known charters place this sanctuary in the territory, of the Luc who would not have, never appears it, known of another rural temple devoted to the Virgin Mary.
It belonged, at the beginning of the XIth century, a notable rich person named Gunsfred, which made gift of it, in 1042, with the monastery of the Benedictines of Montmajour of Arles. (Act passed in the Monastery of Correns, signed by the giver which affixed its seal, by its 4 sons and 15 witnesses) what makes admit the presence, in this place, of a rural agglomeration, probably of a small strengthened village because it appears, under the name of "Castrum de Lauzada" in the table of the parishes of the diocese of Frejus to the XIIth century. About the same time, another lord named Stibleria, and Faith its wife, and his/her son, gave to the monks of Montmajour all their goods located in the soil of Lauzade. The donation, also, was signed in Correns and was accepted by the Amalric Provost Rostaing, monk of this Monastery. In spite of such solemn acts, the monks of Montmajour transfer their rights on Lauzade, disputed by the monks of the Abbey of St-Victor who complained with the bishop about Frejus, Bertrand, which, in 1085, gave them satisfaction. Its successor, Berenger, consulted again on this business, confirmed. in 1099, the sentence of its predecessor. The monks of Montmajour, in front of the decisions taken by the two bishops, decided to call upon Gibelin which was an archbishop of Arles until 1110. This prelate, man extremely considered and careful, did not want to condemn any of the two parts and allotted to them, with each one, half of the Ste-Marie-the-Gilded church of Lauzade. This sentence did not satisfy the canons who, in spite of the returned decision, continued to charge all the rights and benefit depending on the church of Lauzade. In order to obtain justice, the monks of Montmajour had recourse to Sovereign pontiff then himself and they quoted, in front of the apostolic court, the monks of the Abbey of St-Victor with whom they had entered in conflict at the beginning of their contentions about Lauzade.. In their request, they stated that the Abbot of St-Victor had received the Ste-Marie-of-Luc church of the hands, of laymen, with the continuation even of some trade while themselves had collected it hands of the Bishop. A high decision of the pope Pascal II confirmed the sentence of the Subway of Arles. The bishop of Frejus was requested to make it carry out in all his content. It is what prepared itself to do, little time after the Bérenger bishop. We think however, that an agreement was reached soon between the opposing parties because, in the bubble, on April 23, 1113, of the pope Pascal II, the church and the cella of N.D.-the-Gilded is mentioned among those which are had by the Monastery of St-Victor. It is, about the same time, that the latter monastery yielded the church, with its dependences, with the canons of the Chapter of Pignans as have can realize it by the reading of the bubble of Eugene III, in 1152, and of that of Clement III, in 1188, bubbles which confirmed the possession in the known as chapter.

We center already considering in 1042 there was a Christian sanctuary in Lauzade. For this reason, La Grande Lauzade had a prior who was under the dependence of the chapter of Pignans and which ensured the operation of a religious service. This to profit was imposed, for the ecclesiastical decisions, the sum of 13 pounds and 8 gold pennies. The old files enable us to quote some of the former Priors of Lauzade;

here, their names:

- in 1128, Amélius, witness with the donation of the castrum made by Raymond Berenger with the canons of Pignans;
- from 1130 to 1440, Raymond, got the confirmation of this donation by the son of Raymond Berenger;
- from 1190 to 1208, Lèger, witness with a new confirmation made by Alphonse king d' Aragon, count de Provence, grandson of Raymond Berenger;
- in 1239, Jean de Condamine, witness with the ceremony of homage-liege returned in Aix, in the St-Jean church, February 21 of the same year, with the count de Provence, by 15 archbishops, bishops or provosts;
- in 1246, Hugues of the Tower;
- in 1415, Jean Dragonis;
- in 1442, Jacques of Puget and,
- in 1464, Guillaume de Pontevès.
Lastly, in 1486, the prévot of Pignans, Julien of Rovère, then Mignon vice-legate, joins together the priory of Lauzade in the chapter of the Collegial one. From this day, there was not any more particular prior; the spiritual jurisdiction, as well as the incomes, belonged to the Chapter which took care of the religious service.
However, in;1501, we still find a prior special in Lauzade: it is Antoine Filholi, born in the Luc, who became, successively, bishop of Sisteron, archbishop of Aix and died, in 1541, in this city, 102 years old. During the wars of religion which afflicted Provence, especially at the end of the XVIth century, Lauzade had to suffer much. We suppose that the village was, at that time, momentarily deserted and the exercise from the worship, in the parish suspended because, according to Girardin, the inhabitants took refuge, left with the Luc, part with Gonfaron. This abandonment was preceded, specifies the Papon historian, of a combat violent and baited between Razats and Carcistes in the plain that the two communes are divided and whose Lauzade occupies the Western edge. One sees, according to the public acts of this dark period, in which state the priory and the church were reduced. In the official report of the pastoral visit of April 27, 1582, the bishop of Frejus notes that the church does not contain any more that 3 rétables or furnace bridges of which only one is covered with its tablecloths, and which one finds there dice extremely old baptismal font. It prescribes to celebrate the mass there every Sunday and feastdays be continued...

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