A Noble and Artistic Heritage
La Tour Apollinaire was built in la Belle Epoque (the 1890's), by Baron Hippolyte Despres-Apollinaire to provide a grand residence from which to survey his wine estate and enjoy the pleasures of the region. Since 2003 the property has been transformed to blend post-modern comfort with classic French and Catalan charm, while respecting the heritage of the building and its Italian Gothic and Art Deco features. The Baron's legacy includes a Templar-inspired chapel with stained glass window, and Da Vinci Code style rose, castle and heart motifs in the ceilings and ironwork in the tower entrances and balustrades.
Perpignan was a base for both the Templars and the Crusades, and the chateau's interior design echoes their historical presence. There is every possibility that the Baron was a member of the Priory of Sion, the secret society made famous by the book and film The Da Vinci Code, and which counts Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson and numerous other historically famous people amongst its ranks.
The Baron's cousin, Guillaume Apollinaire, is one of France's greatest poets. Wilhelm Albert Vladimir Apollonaris de Kostrowitzky was born on August 26, 1880, in Rome, Italy to a Russian born mother. In Monaco he received a French college education and assumed the identity of a Russian Prince. Apollinaire was fluent in French, Russian, and Italian. He settled in Paris at the age of 20. In 1903 he founded his own magazines, 'Le Festin d'Esope', and 'La Revue immoraliste', alluding to the 1902 work of his friend André Gide. In 1909 Apollinaire brought Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque together. Living at 'La Ruche' artists community at Monparnasse, he was arranging art shows and writing reviews about his friends, such as Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Giorgio De Chirico, Andre Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Ossip Zadkine, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and other artists. He collaborated with writers Max Jacob, Blaise Cendrars, Jean Cocteau, Pierre Reverdy, Gertrude Stein. Apollinaire was the artistic adviser to Sergei Diaghilev and worked with the "Ballets Russes" in Paris. He wrote librettos and collaborated with composers Erik Satie and Francis Poulenc among others. Guillaume Apollinaire contracted influenza during the 'Spanish Flu' pandemic of 1918 and died on November 9, 1918, in Paris, France.