Chateau de Lacoste visitor guide

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The chateau de Lacoste is a ruined castle above the village of Lacoste, in the Vaucluse department and the Luberon region of Provence.

It is easy to locate the castle when you are in the village of Lacoste - just follow the main street up the hill and through the village until you can go no further!

Explore the Chateau de Lacoste

France This Way comment: the castle above Lacoste is now only a ruin, but the history of the castle and its position above the very pretty village of Lacoste, with extensive views across the Luberon countryside, make it an interesting castle to visit

The castle is referred to locally as the castle of the Marquis de Sade, after the name of its famous owner until the castle was destroyed during the revolution.

fortified walls of the Chateau de Lacoste

The Marquis de Sade was an 18th century author and philosopher, best known for his pornographic works and the cruelty that they described (the word 'sadism' comes from the name of the Marquis de Sade). He spent many years in prison and his works were banned until the middle of the 20th century.

The original castle was built here in the 11th century, although most of the walls that we see today were added later, over the following four centuries. Originally owned by a rich family of lords called Simiane, the castle passed to the de Sade family in the early 17th or 18th century, although it is not clear whether this transfer was by marriage or inheritance.

The Marquis de Sade only lived in the Chateau de Lacoste for three years, from 1769 to 1772, and for two short periods in the years that followed as he was pursued by the forces of law.

In the years after the revolution the castle was largely dismantled, and the stone from the castle was used to build various houses and buildings in the region and the Marquis de Sade was forced to sell what remained of the castle.


The castle was sold several times, and by 1952 it was owned by a school teacher who undertook to renovate the remainng parts of Lacoste castle.

In the early 21st century the castle was bought by the renowned French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, who bequeathed the castle to the Institute de France, a group of intellectual writers, artists and scientists, at the time of his death in 2020.

During a visit to Lacoste castle you can see substantial parts of the fortified walls of the castle, and follow paths between the walls, and there are beautiful views across the surrounding countryside.

On the walls of the castle there are several artworks inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade.

Tha castle has been closed on the two occasions that we have visited Lacoste, but I understand that is it occasionally open to the public, although visitors I know that did visit the castle tell me that the few rooms that are open to the public are not very interesting and do not justify the 10 euros entrance price.

Marquis de Sade statue above the Chateau de Lacoste

Attractions nearby

You will also want to explore Lacoste village while you are here! The village that you can see on a hill near Lacoste is called Bonnieux and is also picturesque, and there are several other very beautiful villages such as Gordes that are close to Lacoste.

See the Luberon guide for an introduction to this region.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Vaucluse guide and the Provence guide.

See also Find Chateau de Lacoste hotels

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The small village of Lacoste, one of the most beautiful in the Luberon, stands below the castle of the Marquis de Sade

Lacoste guide


Less visited than some of the Luberon villages, the upper town in Bonnieux and the views from the top of the hill make it very pleasant to visit

Bonnieux guide


One of our favourite Luberon villages, the streets of old Menerbes are overflowing with charm

Menerbes guide


As well as the orange houses of the village you can explore the ancient ochre mines just below Roussillon

Roussillon guide
The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre mines of Roussillon are eroded into beautiful colours and shapes and fascinating to explore

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon guide


Oppede might be less visited than the more famous of the Luberon villages, but a visit is still recommended - and the crowds rather less!

Oppede-le-Vieux guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse

The French version of this page is at Chateau de Lacoste (Francais)