Arnac-Pompadour (Occitan: Arnac Pompador) sometimes simply called Pompadour is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France.
The city is famous for its chateau and its stud farm, the Pompadour National Anglo-Arab Stud, headquarters of the French National Stud and France’s principal production centre of Anglo-Arabian horses.
Arnac was inhabited in Gallo-Roman times by a landowner named Artonacus or Artonos.
Pompadour belonged to one of the oldest lordships in Limousin: the Lastours, Vicomte de Pompadour. A first castle was built in 1026 by Guy de Lastours to defend his possessions, coveted by the Vicomte de Ségur. He also rebuilt Arnac church and established a monastery there, given to Saint Martial’s Abbey in Limoges.
As centuries went by, the suzerainty of the Pompadours spread to all the adjoining parishes. Geoffroi Hélie de Pompadour rebuilt a sumptuous castle in the 15th century. Having in 1513 inherited the illustrious Vicomté de Comborn, the House of Pompadour had reached the religious, military and political heights. Elevated to a marquisate, it died out at the dawn of the 18th century, with several successive deaths.
After that family died out, the inheritance (including the estate, the title and coat-of-arms), disputed in a long trial between the Prince de Conti and the Marquis de La Vallière, was finally transferred to the Crown. In 1745, Louis XV gave it to his favourite, Mme d’Etiolles, who became the Marquise de Pompadour.
Returned to the Crown after the death of Madame de Pompadour, the Château and the 333 ha estate (spread across several communes) became a Royal Stud. Re-established by Napoleon after the Revolution, it is currently a famous National Stud, specialising particularly in developing the Anglo-Arab breed.