College of Navarre

at Montauban

Collège de Navarre Montauban
  • It is on the site of the old medieval hospital of Parias that in 1579 the Protestant college of Montauban was founded, under the patronage of Henry III and with the support of Henri and Marguerite de Navarre. However, we must wait until the end of the sixteenth century to see the buildings built, as evidenced - at the corner of the streets Armand-Cambon and Leon-de-Melville - embedded stones bearing the vintages 1597 and 1598.

    In the meantime, for nearly 20 years, classes were held at No. 9 Rue, at Pastor Michel Bérauld's home. High place of Protestant culture - which attracted students from all over Europe - this institution also opens to Catholics when, in 1629, the rebellious Huguenot city signs its surrender to Cardinal Richelieu. The college was gradually taken over by the Jesuits, although the two religious communities coexisted until 1659, when the Protestant Academy was exiled to Puylaurens, following a new clash between Protestant and Catholic students. The Jesuits stayed in the building until 1676, then moved into the mansion of Michel de Colomb they just acquired (the current Old College). The College of Navarre meanwhile, is bought by Jean de Galabert Aumont, esquire of the king, which makes it his special home. The original disposition of the College of Navarre is poorly known because of successive transformations over the centuries. There remains today a vast courtyard of honor bordered by a remarkable wooden gallery, supported by a colonnade. Opposite, the traces of openings visible on the wall seem to attest that at the beginning, the college extended on a part of the current hotel Lefranc-de-Pompignan