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“The only son of Emile Lasalle-Serbat and Marie Garçon, he came from the industrial middle classes in northern France. His family’s wealth undoubtedly came from his grandfather, Louis Lasalle-Serbat, a chemist and the inventor of “”Serbat putty””.

As a child, Louis Serbat left the Nord region of France for Béarn: “”for reasons of health and preference””, according to Adrien Carlier, his family moved to Pau where his father had a property. He successfully passed the exam to enter the Ecole des Chartes and graduated as an archivist-palaeographer.

He then devoted his life to study and his collections. He became an “”informed amateur, who did not collect simply in order to amass rare objects but with the intention of studying each piece he found, with the fervour of a biologist”” (A. Carlier).”

Louis Serbat

“In 1903, Louis Serbat married Madeleine Piscatory de Vaufreland, daughter of Viscount Auguste, the Prefect of the Basses-Pyrénées region, and Lucie Martell, heiress of the famous brandy makers.

After the Second World War, the Serbats came to Béarn looking for somewhere peaceful where they could rest. The couple purchased the estate in 1946 and initially moved into the outbuildings.

They were great art lovers and collected objects dating mainly from the Age of Enlightenment. Louis Serbat wanted to open the house to the public and present a special setting in each room, an aristocratic atmosphere. The layout of the rooms and the furniture was the product of his imagination. No object was placed randomly. His wife completed the project after his death.”

When Louis died, Madeleine moved into the castle with her staff. On her death, the estate and the collections were bequeathed to the Touring Club de France, and, in 1981, they were taken over by the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region.