Castles in Occitanie

Château d'Usson

The Château d"Usson is one of the so-called Cathar castles located in the commune of Rouze. It is sited upstream from Axat, along the Aude River gorge, carved out of the foothills of the Pyrenees. The castle dates from the 11th century (perhaps earlier) and during the Cathar period marked the eastern boundary of the territories of the Counts of Foix. In the 12th century, this was the capital of the Doné ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Rouze, France

Château de Padern

The Château de Padern was built overlooking the village of Padern on a limestone peak that dominates the Verdouble river running past the village. The paths to reach it are very steep, which made it practically impregnable. The castle is little known in the area, because it did not play a very important part during the crusade against the Albigensians, unlike the neighbouring castles of Termes, Queribus or Peyrepertuse. ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Padern, France

Château d'Aurignac

The Château d"Aurignac was built on a hill before 1240 by Bernard V, Counts of Comminges, and the village developed around it. Henry IV ordered the destruction of the castle in the early 17th century and, although it was still partly inhabited in 1627, it fell into disuse not long afterwards. All that remains today are the church, a well-restored keep on the peak of the hill and some of the ramparts, which have ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Aurignac, France

Château de Lacassagne

The Château de Lacassagne is thought to date from the latter half of the 15th century, with additions and alterations made in every century until the 19th century. It originated as an ancient salle (hall) and was altered in the 15th century with the addition of a spiral staircase and windows. A residence was added in the 17th century. On the first floor, in a room known as the Salle des Chevaliers de Malte, the pain ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Saint-Avit-Frandat, France

Fort de Valros

The Fort de Valros is a ruined small castle or fortress. The site has no visible trace of occupation from antiquity, but archaeological digs have uncovered the remains of a necropolis used from the 8th to the 10th century. The promontory on which the fort stands is a strategic observation post. It dominates the valley of the Thongue and controls two very ancient communication routes: the roads from Béziers to Pézenas ...
Founded: 1199 | Location: Valros, France

Château de Montdardier

Château de Montdardier was built in the 12th century to the site of smaller fortification mentioned first time in 1099. The current appearance dates from the restoration made in 1860.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Montdardier, France

Chateau de Bramevaque

Chateau de Bramevaque was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. The keep is well-preserved, but the enclosure and the chapel are in ruins.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bramevaque, France

Château de Pieusse

The Château de Pieusse is one of the so-called Cathar castles. It is a 'true' Cathar castle in the sense that the site was never taken by the French crown during the annexation of Roussillon, but the buildings are mostly of more recent date. It is characterised by a keep, massive for the time, whose use was essentially defensive. The castle is currently private property and not open to the public. The cas ...
Founded: 1140-1145 | Location: Pieusse, France

Château de Salveterra

Château de Salveterra was built by Jacques I of Aragon in 1246 to the border between France and Kingdom of Aragon. It was besieged in 1598 and 1639 by French troops. In the 16th century, the village and castle were abandoned. The castle ruins remain south of the plateau today. It consists of an enclosure protected by a moat, tower, vaulted rooms and a walkway portion with battlements and loopholes.
Founded: 1246 | Location: Opoul-Perillos, France

Château de Puissalicon

Château de Puissalicon was built in the 11th century. Two imposing towers lies over the dungeon which is now in ruins. The castle is privately owned, but can be visited in part during the Heritage Days in September.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Puissalicon, France

Château de Roquedols

Château de Roquedols has probably stood on the site already in the 14th century. The first written document of dates only from 1607. There is a metion 1534 in the front door and the current building is probably built then. Roquedols Castle is built of two rectangular buildings, flanked by three round towers. 
Founded: 14th century | Location: Meyrueis, France

Château de Brax

Château de Brax was originally constructed in the 13th century, but there were alterations and additions in the 16th and 18th centuries. The structure is enclosed by four circular towers. The rear façade incorporates the grand staircase. The brick walls are crenellated. The front opens onto parkland; access is by a double staircase. A round walk carried on machicolations formed of brick corbels and blind arcades ci ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Brax, France

Château de Fressac

Château de Fressac was built probably in the early 13th century. According a legend, it was visited by Blanche of Castile, the mother of king Louis IX of France. In the 18th century Fressac was a refuge place during the wars of Camisards. Today it lies in ruins.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fressac, France

Château Fort des Angles

Château Fort des Angles was built in the 13th-14th centuries. After several centuries of abandonment, it was restored in 1980s.    
Founded: 13th century | Location: Les Angles, France

Château de Tramezaygues

Château de Tramezaygues was built in the 12th century. It served as a border watching post until the French Revolution.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tramezaïgues, France

Château de Terraube

The Château de Terraube was built around 1272 for the de Galard family, Merovingian dukes of Gascony; a date on the doorway confirms this. The de Galards have owned the castle ever since. It was altered and enlarged in the 16th and 17th centuries. The residence was enlarged from 1768 by the master masons Guillaume Gras, Jacques Lapeyronie and Dominique Ducasse. Two further residential buildings were added around 1773 ...
Founded: c. 1272 | Location: Terraube, France

Château de Pailhès

Château de Pailhès is a fine example of medieval military architecture. It was built in the 12th century and reconstructed during 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. Today the castle is privately owned.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pailhes, France

Château de Margon

The imposing Château de Margon consists of a rectangular building flanked with three towers. It dates from the early 13th century and was attached to the Kingdom of France in 1221. Le Moine de Margon family has owned the castle since 1719. Two side wings were added inside the courtyard of the 16th century. Château de Margon has also remarkable gardens.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Margon, France

Château de Pagax

Château de Pagax was built in the 13th century, the oldest mention dates from 1259. During the Renaissance the castle was rebuilt, and large windows were pierced to the walls.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Flagnac, France

Château de Valmirande

Built from scratch starting in 1892 by Baron de Lassus. Historic monument with a picturesque 100-acre park of character. The castle and its outbuildings were built by the architect Louis Garros.
Founded: 1892 | Location: Montréjeau, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.