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 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 ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tuchan, 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 des Bourines

Château des Bourines was built as fortified barn in the 13th century. The courtyard is protected by a curtain wall flanked by four corner towers.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bertholène, France

Château de Galinières

Galinières was originally dependent on the Bonneval abbey of Bonneval, constituted from donations of noble families of the region and the bishops of Rodez between 1163 and 1181. The current structure was built mainly in the late 14th century and 15th century.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Pierrefiche, 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 Miral

The Château de Miral overlooks the confluent of the Runes River and Tarn River. It belonged in the 13th century to the Cahbrieres family and from the 14th century to the Malbosc family. Its keep was built towards the end of the 13th century as the seat of the Malbosc-Miral family. Its ramparts defended access to the upper Tarn valley. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, the Lords of Malbosc-Miral constructed t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bédouès, France

Château de Cambiaire

Château de Cambiaire was built in the 14th century in the town of Saint-Étienne-Vallée-Française. It is a quadrangular building with a round tower at three of its corners and a square tower at the northwest corner. It consists of three wings around a courtyard on the west side by a battlements surrounding wall pierced by a gate. The great crenellated tower, which dungeon office, is crowned on its summit terrace of a w ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Étienne-Vallée-Française, France

Château de Montalègre

Counts of Montalègre have been known since 1268 and the castle was probably built also in the 13th century. The castle dominates the Valley of the Sorgues. The feudal castle consists of an almost square square building with two floors, flanked by four round towers.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Versols-et-Lapeyre, France

Château Vicomtal Saint-Pierre

The Château Vicomtal Saint-Pierre de Fenouillet is a ruined 11th century castle in the commune of Fenouillet. In the 12th century, Bertrand de Saissac, Viscount de Fenouillet, was one of the major vassals of the Viscount of Carcassonne. Bernard is known for his Cathar beliefs, and his dislike of the Catholic Church. It is likely that the first Cathar preachers came to Fenouillet around this time. At the beginning ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Fenouillet, France

Château de Teillan

Château de Teillan was built probably in the 9th and 10th centuries to the site of an ancient Roman castrum called Villa Telianum. In the 12th century it was sold to the abbey of Psalmody. The chateau is surrounded with a landscape park from the 19th century where are located Roman steles, milestones and a waterwheel. Today Château de Teillan is privately owned, but open in the summer season.
Founded: 9th century | Location: Aimargues, France

Château de Montialoux

Château de Montialoux was owned by the Barons of Tournel. Aldebert III of Tournel was born in Montialoux around 1100, but there is no evidence of castle then. The castle may have been destroyed in 1588 during the Wars of Religion as well as many other castles in the area. The new house was built in the 1660s and the castle served as a residence until 1782. It is today ruined but easily accessible.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Saint-Bauzile, 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 Cuxous

Château de Cuxous was built in the 11th century and mentioned first time in 1119. It was then rebuilt in 13th, 18th and 20th centuries.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cassagnes, Cuba

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Goseck Circle

The Goseck circle is a Neolithic circle structure. It may be the oldest and best known of the Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. It also may be one of the oldest Solar observatories in the world. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days.

Its construction is dated to c. 4900 BC, and it seems to have remained in use until 4600 BC. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments.

Excavators also found the remains of what may have been ritual fires, animal and human bones, and a headless skeleton near the southeastern gate, that could be interpreted as traces of human sacrifice or specific burial ritual. There is no sign of fire or of other destruction, so why the site was abandoned is unknown. Later villagers built a defensive moat following the ditches of the old enclosure.

The Goseck ring is one of the best preserved and extensively investigated of the many similar structures built at around the same time. Traces of the original configuration reveal that the Goseck ring consisted of four concentric circles, a mound, a ditch, and two wooden palisades. The palisades had three sets of gates facing southeast, southwest, and north. At the winter solstice, observers at the center would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest gates.

Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar.