In 1838, Stendhal in his trip to the South of France, described "this very elegant building, of a brilliant light yellow colour, is in truth of no style; it is neither Greek nor Gothic, it is very cheerful and would rather be in the Chinese genre. On the façade we read this single word: Cos".
Henri Beyle, better known as Stendhal, was puzzled to say the least. The author of The Red and the Black, who went by stagecoach to Lesparre, discovered this furiously oriental construction with its pagoda roofs, its bell tower (during the war, the occupants stole the gold version of the bells), its crenellated tower, its deluge of carved stones, its high leaf worked in Zanzibar and its rows of palm trees.
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