chateau de st. michel de lanes

Photos courtesy of Château de St Michel de Lanès








Château de Saint Michel de Lanès did not begin life as a mighty defensive fortress or even as sumptuous palace, but as a manor home. During the reign of Louis XVI, its status was raised to “château.”

One of Château de St Michel de Lanès’s more memorable owners was Arnaud Ardenne, who crossed the ocean to fight for American independence in 1777, thus establishing a French-American connection that continues to this day.

Much earlier, however, was Catherine de Médicis, also known as the Countess of Lauragais, who made a gift of the sculptures that grace the façade of the château.

The Panouse family have welcomed guests to their home since 2000.

Pamela’s Perspective

To best enjoy this beautiful region, you really need a car to get around.

This is a family home and not a hotel, so instead of room service, air-conditioning, and a gift shop, you can expect genuine thoughtfulness, conversation, and a human touch. This home is ideal for those who love history, architecture, and pretty villages.

Take note of the bas-reliefs of gargoyles, fauns, and garlands of flowers that decorate the walls of the château.


Château de Saint Michel de Lanès

An 18th-century manor home


1, rue du Pont de l’Heres
11410 Saint Michel de Lanès
Tel: ++33 (0)4 68 60 31 80
Fax: ++33 (0)5 31 60 19 32
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

3 rooms

Double rooms: 139–149 euros
Rates include continental breakfast

Open: all year (except closed the week after Christmas)

Getting there

Saint Michel de Lanès is about halfway between Carcassonne and Toulouse—not far off the A61 motorway. The nearest train station is Villefranche de Lauragais.

What to do

Nearby: hiking; bicycling; fishing; canoeing; windsurfing; tennis; Canal du Midi


If you ever want to hide away in an idyllic corner of the French countryside, amongst narrow roads shaded by a canopy of trees, with fields of sunflowers in the distance, you’ve come to the right place.

At this lovingly restored château, you’ll be received with warmth and kindness by Alix and Vincent Panouse (who are also a viscount and viscountess).

They have opened up four rooms of their home to guests on a bed and breakfast basis. Each is named after an historical personage, such as Béatrix de Die, a famous 17th-century female troubadour, and Catherine de Médicis, queen consort to Henri II and later regent of France.

Period furniture decorates each spacious guest room, along with parquet flooring and wallpaper with floral designs or even bluebirds. Windows look out onto the garden or the cedar-shaded grounds. Bathrooms are en suite.

Since the château is a bed and breakfast inn, you only need to stroll a few minutes to the village to enjoy an evening meal.

Something special

curlicueYour hosts: Alix and Vincent Panouse