Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
Club Saint Louis
Established in 1585 a short distance from the Place du Capitole, the Club Saint Louis was founded by a capitoul (burgher) and a captain of the watch. The club membership would include notable figures of the Catholic League during the Wars of Religion, and the club charter expressly forbids entry to heretics; as such it attracts the ire of many of the Huguenots in Languedoc.
The club is elegantly appointed but the food and drink tend to be less inspired. The walls are covered with tapestries, many depicting events of the Albigensian Crusade, and a bust of Pierre de Castelnau is displayed prominently along with a statue of the eponymous Saint Louis de Toulouse. Gambling is a permitted though it is not encouraged, and the club sets a modest table limit of 100 £. A discreet rendezvous may be arranged by an aged madam.
All three estates are represented at Club Saint Louis, with members of the clergy, the nobility, and the haute bourgeoisie mingling convivially with one another, and the club is frequented the capitouls of Toulouse, who enjoy membership during their terms of office. Members often wear a badge featuring a bishop’s mitre over an upside-down crown, all represented in gold and lapis lazuli, suspended from a dark blue silk ribbon. The members enjoy reciprocal privileges with the Bishop’s Club in Paris.
The club governors consist of five chefs du club, two or three treasurers and a like number of secretaries, and several managers. Annual dues are 25 £.