The Official Headquarters of the Order in France: Le Chateau De La Palice (October 2007)
It is indeed with great pride to note that the Grand Priory of the Mediterranean, by means of its official operations in France, will be using the beautiful and striking family castle of the Chabannes family known as Le Chateau de la Palice, in Vichy, France as the Official Headquarters of the Grand Priory in France.
The Chabannes family is indeed a very old and noble French family with a prestigious pedigree of ancestors leading all the way to the Merovingian sovereigns of the land in medieval times. Chevalier Jacques de Chabannes, one of our Commanders in France, furthermore is keen to project the fact that, whilst researching his family history, a number of his ancestors were indeed knights of the Order of Saint Lazarus.
The castle was built in periods of medieval France, encompassing the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The structure, as can be seen today, was finally finished by Jacques the First de Chabannes in 1430. Further embellishments in the Renaissance style were added by Jacques the Second, Marshal of France in the fifteenth century, whilst the Gothic chapel used for the Grand Priory’s investitures of the Grand Commandery of France was built in 1470. The chapel holds a crypt which includes a number of prestigious members of the Chabannes family, including a beautiful tomb carved with the effigy of Jacques the First and his Lady wife.