The Agar Hotel: a summary of the history of Cavaillon
In the heart of Cavaillon, the Hotel d’Agar is built, like the nearby Saint-Véran cathedral, on the ruins of the Roman city that had developed at the bottom of the Saint Jacques hill. The first elements of what will be the Agar Hotel date from the 12th century. The hotel has been somewhat overhauled over the centuries, sometimes even abused. The vast house represents a summary of the history of the city, from the Gallo-Roman city to the agglomeration of the 21st century.
From Gothic to eighteenth
This building belonged until 1640 to a large local family, the Hagar, who took an active part in the wars of religion, on the Catholic side. Jean d’Agar, Councilor in the Parliament of Aix, is an ardent “ligueur”. The family, installed in the seventeenth century in another hotel, in the Grand Rue, disappears from the city under the Revolution. She had meanwhile linked to other noble families in the region, the Agoult, Bus, Ciceri, Athenosi, Perussis …). This is one of the elements of the agar coat of arms that has been chosen as the “logo” of the house. Or rather houses, since their owners, Christian Morand and Véronique Valton, have recently acquired the second hotel in Agar, that of the Grand Rue de Cavaillon.
As it appears today, the Hotel d’Agar includes many remarkable elements: octagonal Gothic tower with its spiral staircase and its gargoyles, rooms sixteenth and seventeenth adorned with painted ceilings -can be at the occasion of the visit of François Ier in the city in 1537- and chimneys with decorations of gypsums, small Louis XIV facade overlooking the place Cabassole …
A remarkable garden
In addition, the hotel has a wonderful garden, rich with many treasures, one of the few intra muros of Cavaillon. And one of the oldest since there are traces of garden for at least two millennia. Archaeologists are therefore at the party: remains of a Hellenistic temple with painted coatings, a temple of Mithra and, especially, the famous “treasure of Cavaillon”, more than 300 silver deniers in perfect condition. This treasure was discovered in 2010 and is the most important discovery in the Vaucluse.
The garden also contains a Roman aqueduct and irrigation channels dug after 1535. Not to mention the treasures accumulated by the owners …
The work of two collectors
The set was bought in poor condition, in the 90s, by a couple of doctors, Christian Morand and Véronique Valton, who undertook a patient work of clearing and restoration. Work rewarded in 2011 by the inscription of the site (garden and building) to the Historical Monuments. But Christian and Véronique are also passionate collectors of traditional and contemporary art, and their home today has an impressive artistic and ethnographic treasure that they seek to share.
Sharing with the public
Christian Morand and Véronique Valton are anything but selfish collectors: on the contrary, they want to create an interest in art and history through their house, the Hôtel d’Agar. It is therefore regularly open to the public, for the Heritage Days, the Gardens, or for exhibitions such as Christmas cribs and balls or relics. But they are also lovers of contemporary art and like to confront old and modern in their home.
The fieldwork is completed by the publication of books on collections and excavations by the editions of the Hotel d’Agar.
Eventually, they seek to be able to open the Hotel regularly and widely to the public. In 2011, already more than 15,000 people were able to push the doors of the Agar Hotel.
Read more at http://www.hotel-dagar.com/pages/l.html#QoUAdb31ChFP0A6i.99