Centre François Mauriac de Malagar
Domaine de Malagar
33490 Saint Maixant
Located at the side of several prestigious touristic and wine areas (Sauternais, Entre-Deux-mers, Garonne valley), Malagar is ideally placed at the top of hills above the Garonne valley, the town of Langon and the "Landes" forest.
It was the property of the "Celestine" monks of Verdelais before the French Revolution and was bought by the Mauriac family in 1843, when Jean Mauriac, the great grandfather of the writer, became the owner. At this time Malagar is developing into what it is today: a gentleman-farmer's house between two chais, a farm-house with two canopies, a park of 4 hectares and a vineyard of 18 hectares.
As a child, François Mauriac is not often in Malagar. The family stays in St Symphorien for holiday (chalet and park). It is at the beginning of the century that the young François Mauriac learns to love Malagar, before becoming its owner in 1927. The writer and his family will come regularly for Easter, summer holiday and the grape-harvest. For François Mauriac, it is a place to live but also a haven of peace for work and inspiration until his last stay in 1968.
"Girondine" house of the writer, Malagar was given to the region of Aquitaine by his four children in 1985. After having been opened to the public for a short period of time, great restoration and fitting-out works took place and the new Malagar was unveiled in 1997. Today the estate combines an accurate preserving of the house as it was when the writer of "Le Noeud de vipères" lived in, and a contemporary fitting-out like a museum of today.One of the chais offers screenings of thematic films about François Mauriac as well as an exhibition of photographs, things and antique books. The old hay-barn has been converted into a working room and a cultural space.
The region of Aquitaine entrusted the management and activities of the site to the François Mauriac Centre. The missions of the association are large and various:
- Malagar is above all a writer's house: the estate was François Mauriac's property, it was a privileged place of inspiration and writing for him, who located three of his novels there. Malagar is an important place for tourists' reception, open all year long to visitors coming of all over the world.
- The site is also dedicated to the preservation of Aquitaine's literary heritage. It develops the digitization of manuscripts, records and photographs. it also welcomes a lot of universities' seminars and meetings every year.
- Since 1997, the François Mauriac Centre has focused its priority on educational projects in secondary schools, with for exemple artistic workshops (wrting, reading, drawing, photo) and an approach of the new communication means.
- The François Mauriac Centre offers a rich cultural season from May to September, with conferences, thematic meetings, concerts and outdoor cinema. The Centre organizes a series of conferences called "Les Vendanges de Malagar" about a relevant topic at the end of September. The speakers discuss with the public in a place that is favourable to thinking.