Castles in Occitanie

Château de Bonrepos

Château de Bonrepos was built by Pierre-Paul Riquet in 1651. The castle is surrounded by moat spanned by two bridges. The pleasure gardens of the castle of are registered as Remarkable Gardens of France.
Founded: 1651 | Location: Bonrepos-Riquet, France

Château de Montaigut

The first traces of the Château de Montaigut date from the 10th century. Built on a rocky outcrop dominating the valley of the Dourdou de Camarès river, it defended the town of Saint-Affrique against attacks from the south. Enlarged and transformed in the 15th century by the Blanc family, it was restored several times before falling into ruin. The castle was finally restored in 1989. The castle is built over a medie ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Gissac, France

Château de Saint-Alban

The first mention of the Château de Saint-Alban dates back to 1188. It was besieged several times during the Hundred Years" War. The three existing towers were added in the 15th century. Since 1824 the castle has been used as psychiatric center.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, France

Château de Brousse

Château de Brousse is large medieval fortress. It belonged to the Arpajon noble family from 1204 until 1700. The first known owners were counts of Rouergue in the 10th century. Today the castle is open to visitors. Among the beautiful fortifications there is a landscaped rose garden and an prehistoric megalith dating from around 3rd millenium BC.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Brousse-le-Château, France

Château de Saint-Izaire

The Château de Saint-Izaire is a 14th-century episcopal castle. It is maintained by an association known as Vie et Château (Life and Castle), who have created a mini museum on the premises to record the history of the castle and the inhabitants of the village of Saint-Izaire. The castle is a massive quadrangular red stone building that shelters the town hall of the village of Saint-Izaire. The structure is supported ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Izaire, France

Château de Puivert

The Château de Puivert is a so-called Cathar castle on top of a hill overhanging the village and lake. The construction of the present chateau dates from the 13th century. The first mention is in 1170 when it belonged to the Congost family before the Albigensian Crusade. These lords practised Catharism and were accused as heretics. Then, in November 1210, the castle was subjected for three days to a siege by the army of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Puivert, France

Château de Castelbouc

Château de Castelbouc lies in the small village of Castelbouc on an beautiful rock spur. The castle was first mentioned in the 12th century, when it was owned by Etienne de Castelbouc. In 1592 the castle was razed during the Wars of Religion.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sainte-Enimie, France

Château de Laréole

Château de Laréole was built in 1579 by Pierre de Cheverry, a son of a great pastel merchant. The construction of the castle lasted three years and the Cheverry family kept the castle until 1707. After the Great Revolution, the castle changes hands several times before it was abandoned in1922. In 1984 the General Council of Haute-Garonne bought the property and restored it. Today the site is open to the public and ...
Founded: 1579 | Location: Laréole, France

Château de Canet-en-Roussillon

Château de Canet-en-Roussillon was the castle of viscounts mentioned first time in the mid-11th century. Some parts of the original castle still remains, like the St. Martin"s chapel. The castle has been remodelled several times and it was finally abandoned after the French Revolution (it was then used as a stone quarry).
Founded: 11th century | Location: Canet-en-Roussillon, France

Château de Termes

The Château de Termes is one of the so-called Cathar castles. Built on a promontory, defended on three sides by formidable deep ravines, the crumbling ruins of the castle cover an area of 16 000m². Held by the Cathar heretic Ramon (Raymond) de Termes, the castle only fell to Simon de Montfort after a siege lasting four months, from August to November 1210, the hardest siege of the first period of the Albigensia ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Termes, France

Castella de Saint-Sulpice

On the mound near L"Agout river, in Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe, are preserved ruins of the keep and the chapel of the old castle built around 1240 by the Albigensian lord Sicard Alaman. The castle is listed as a historic monument, it is one of the unmissable sites of the city of Saint-Sulpice-La-Pointe. Perched on the old castle mound, the remains of the Castela Castle chapel founded by the great Albigensian lord Sicar ...
Founded: c. 1240 | Location: Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe, France

Château d'Entraygues

Château d"Entraygues was built by Henry II, Count of Rodez, between 1278 and 1290. Entraygues was a strategic point at the crossroads of transportation routes, at the junction of Auvergne and the Lot Valley. The first conurbation must have been at St-Georges (remains an old,  Gothic style edifice, far more important when it was a parish church, on a terrace). From the end of the construction of the fortifed ca ...
Founded: 1278-1290 | Location: Entraygues-sur-Truyère, France

Château de Peyrelade

The Château de Peyrelade name is derived from the occitan 'Pèira Lada', meaning wide rock; an accurate description of the site. Objects found on the site suggest it was inhabited in prehistoric times. Thanks to its position controlling the entrance to the Gorges du Tarn, it was one of the most important castles in the Rouergue province. It existed at least as far back as the 12th century, and was the s ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Rivière-sur-Tarn, France

Château de Saint-Félix-Lauragais

Château de Saint-Félix-Lauragais was originally constructed in the 11th century. The first Synod of the Cathar church, known as the Council of Saint-Félix was held there in 1167. In the 14th century, the castle was transformed into a country house by a brother of Pope John XXII. The complex includes buildings from the 13th to the 18th centuries.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Saint-Félix-Lauragais, France

Château de Castelnau-de-Lévis

The Château de Castelnau-de-Lévis was built at the beginning of the 13th century by Gicard Alamon, and called Castelnau de Bonnafonds. It was rebuilt by the Lévis in the 15th century, when the seigneurie came into the possession of Hugues d" Amboise, baron d"Aubijoux; the fief remained with his descendants until the seventeenth century. Hugues" grandson, Louis d"Amboise, comte d"Aubijoux and ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Castelnau-de-Lévis, France

Château d'Aguilar

The Château d'Aguilar is one of the so-called Cathar castles. The design of the castle witnesses the practical military thinking of the 12th century. The castle consists of an inner keep built in the 12th century, surrounded by an outer pentagonal fortification from the 13th century. This fortification is oriented such that its point guards the side most favourable to attackers. The keep and the inner hexagonal fortifica ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tuchan, France

Château de Mauvezin

Château de Mauvezin, occupied since protohistory, was transformed into a castrum in the Middle Ages and later into a castle. The castle was built by Gaston Fébus (also Phoebus) around 1380. Following the merging of Bigorre into the Kingdom of France in 1607, it fell into disuse and was dismantled piece by piece, its stones being used for other buildings. Today the castle is being restored and houses a historical ...
Founded: 1380 | Location: Mauvezin, France

Château de Hautpoul

The original castle in n a rocky spur was supposedly built in 413 by the Visigoths on the side of a mountain, defended by almost inaccessible cliffs. This fortress controlled the Arnette and the Thoré valleys, overlooking the plain where the town of Mazamet now stands. Pierre-Raymond de Hautpoul is the first known lord of Hautpoul (mentioned in 1084). He rebuilt the castle, constructed the town walls and built the forti ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Mazamet, France

Château de Pibrac

Château de Pibrac was built in 1540 to the site of older castle. It was damaged during the Revolution in 1794 and restored in 1887. The renaissance style residence is built of red brick. The castle itself consists of an old body and wings. The north wing is flanked by a round tower with terrace and has a staircase. The castle park, open to the public, was designed by the landscape architect Eugène Bühler in 1897.
Founded: 1540 | Location: Pibrac, France

Château de Lordat

Château de Lordat castle dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries (mentioned first time in 970 AD). Around 1244 it was occupied by the Cathars during the crusade against the Albigensians. Lordat family abandoned the castle at the time of religious wars of France. Dismantled by the order of Henry IV in 1582, the castle fell gradually in ruins. The entrance is protected by a square tower which still has its original a ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Lordat, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.