Sylvan Lake’s stone castle is also known as the castle of love. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sylvan Lake’s stone castle is also known as the castle of love. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sylvan Lake: A back-breaking castle of love

Early pioneer built a castle for his bride using stones dragged on deer hide

It’s one thing to dream about being a princess in a castle. It’s another thing entirely to have one built for you, especially near the shores of Alberta’s pictaresque Sylvan Lake.

It’s a curio from another time, a testament to back-breaking labour and, we suppose, the intensity of love.

Tucked away behind a wall of trees in Sylvan Lake is the Château de l’Amour or the Castle of Love, built by early French residents starting in 1905. Using a plank raft to transport stones plucked from the beach, the builders at first dragged the rocks on a deer hide to the construction site.

The builder eventually married his bride, having a ceremony in France, but the couple did not live happily ever after. It’s said that their families were upset about the union, and compelled them to once again leave France.

They lived in the castle for three years when the builder, one of Sylvan Lake’s most accomplished early entrepreneurs, left to take a job with the French Consulate in Montreal, where he passed away in 1918, and the love of his life returned to France.

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Sylvan Lake’s stone castle is also known as the castle of love. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sylvan Lake’s stone castle is also known as the castle of love. (Black Press Media file photo)