Place du Clocher
05 57 55 28 28
A PALACE ... FOR A POPE!
The Cardinal to who the monument is referring to is Gaillard de la Mothe, nephew of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Bertrand de Goth who became the famous Pope Clement V at the beginning of the 14th century. This one grant his nephew the title of “Cardinal of Sainte Luce”, the first dean of the chapter of Augustinian canons (more info here) and a luxurious and comfortable home today known as "Palais Cardinal".
The ruins of the facade that are still remaining today reminds us that this imposing town house, exaggeratedly called a palace, was built from the 12h century on. Indeed, roman artistic elements are present: arch for openings with arches show geometric and floral decorations; the twin bays and neat decorations similar to other monuments of the medieval city from the early 12th century. The presence of pipes to the latrines certify some comfort in this edifice.
The facade of the "Cardinal Palace", which is still visible today, is, like many medieval houses, part of the city wall built at the same time (more information here). These details make us say that the primary purpose of this building was not so much to defend the town as to display a certain wealth of the town to the merchants and pilgrims in transit through Saint-Emilion.
You can admire the ruins of the Cardinal Palace in free access from outside of the city, do not hesitate to descend into the moat to see more closely the outputs of latrines ...!