Soldier and diplomat
Joseph-Paul Eydoux, to whom the castle is named, was born in 1852 in Carpentras in a prominent family of notaries and consuls. Eydoux choose a career in the army and volunteered in 1870 at the start of the Franco-Prussian War. He was awarded fairly quickly to second-lieutenant and choose the infantry at his graduation from military school. Eydoux was not an exceptionally gifted student but made an impression through his diplomacy, for an army man an exceptional talent. Eydoux completes his studies in 1883 at the l’Ecole supérieure de guerre. In the years that followed, he went through the traditional hierarchy and kicks it from head of the brigade to lieutenant-colonel and finally to become a high ranked brigadier in 1908. At the height of his career in 1911, he is general of his own division.
In that capacity, he is summoned to lead the French mission in Greece where he takes the place of the vaunted General Foch. At that moment Greece is in trouble. It just suffered a humiliating defeat against Turkey (about Crete) and took a military coup in 1909. Rival tendencies were trying to destabilise the country. Eydoux restructures the Greek army completely, from rifles to artillery over healthcare strategy. The successes of the Greek army subsequently attributed to the insight and organizational talent of Eydoux. The German influences in Greece were already very strong in those years (with the help of King Constantine), but the victories of the Greek army strengthens the prestige of France. The beginning of WWI calls Eydoux back to France where he will compete in Belgian Luxembourg in the battle for Maissin. In attempts to stop the German raids in August 1914 he even booked a few tactical victories.
At the age of 65, Joseph-Paul Eydoux retires in 1917 from active military service. In 1918 he settles in the castle in Loriol du Comtat, which was given to him for services rendered. But not for long. On November 4th, he has an unfortunate accident and dies that same year.
Much less is know about the castle. It was built in 1850 on the foundations of a medieval castle. Even more uncertain is the story that the castle would have been given to Eydoux by Napoleon II or III. The latter died in 1873, just a few years after Joseph-Paul had volunteered as a young man in the French army. Should one of the Napoleons have been so generous it is more likely that another family member received the gift and subsequently donated it to the general later on. Remember, it was a family of notaries! If we find something in the castle, we will certainly publish it here!
Before Ann and Guido Bardoel started their bed and breakfast, the castle was already a chambres d’hôte. Perhaps you came across some old pictures and entries on the Internet. Which are unfortunately difficult to erase. Pictures on this website are representative of the rooms as they are today.
On the same estate, and adjacent to the castle, you’ll find Le Mas Eydoux. This is the farm that depended on the castle and became a holiday rental likewise. Its operation is independent of that of the castle.
The Romans were here. Like the Vandals, the Visigoths and the Saracens. (I forget many, there are probably still a few!) During the Hundred Years’ War, the village was completely abandoned. It was safer in Carpentras in those days. (15th E) The name of the village changed several times: AURIOLUS and LAURIOL in the early days. Later on changing from LORIOL, LAURIOL, to again LORIOL. Since 1918, so général Eydoux may have experienced it, the villagers settled for LORIOL DU COMTAT to avoid any confusion with the village of LORIOL in the Drôme Provençale.
Close to the present church was a feudal castle. Unformtunately nothing remains of these buildings. The austere Romanesque chapel is the only reminder of the rich history of Loriol. In the vicinity you can still see swamps that were drained by the monks from Mazan and the old mûriers that recall the cultivation of silkworms.