Welcome to the website of the Chateau de Bonrepos-Riquet
The origins of the Canal du Midi
On 28 December 2007 the Chateau of Bonrepos Riquet became the property of the village commune: 24 hectares of outstanding heritage, the historical home of Pierre-Paul Riquet (1609 - 1680) famous for inventing and constructing the Canal du Midi (1666 - 1681).
The acquisition was made possible with the help of the local and regional government departments which indicates the historic importance of the property and its sad state of disrepair.
In the Garenne valley which adjoined his property Riquet developed his “Hydraulic Machine”. For fifteen years Riquet worked on his experiment to simulate the supply of water for his canal. As a result of this work he was able to demonstrate to the authorities the viability of his project. His famous letter to Colbert (finance minister) in 1662 eventually led to permission in 1666 for him to start work on the Canal Royal du Languedoc. This huge project which was admired by Vauban (a French military engineer and one of Louis XIV’s most esteemed subjects) employed several thousand men and women over the next 15 years.
Already classed as a historical monument, on 31 July 2008 an application was submitted to annexe the Chateau to the Canal du Midi which is classed as a World Heritage site under UNESCO.