Castles in Occitanie

Château de Tholet

Château de Tholet was documented first time in 1075 and it was completed in the next century. In the Middle Ages it was owned by Solages family. The cas was later altered as a Renaissance style residence. The tower dates from the 14th century.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Gabriac, 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 du Bosc

Château du Bosc was founded in 1180 and rebuilt in the 15th century. Until the recent years it was always owned by the Bosc and Toulouse-Lautrec family. Thhe castle is open everyday of the year from 9am to 7pm. Guided tour of the reception rooms and bedroom, with memories of Lautrec as a child, and the family museum showing his artistic instinct. Temporary exhibitions in the château.
Founded: 1180 | Location: Camjac, France

Château de Saint-Beauzély

Château de Saint-Beauzély was mentioned first time in 1180 and it was largely altered in the late 16th century after been conquered in the French Wars of Religion. Today the castle hosts a small museum.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Saint-Beauzély, France

Château de Vézins

The Château de Vézins is a much-altered castle in the commune of Vézins-de-Lévézou. It has been in the possession of the Vézins family for 900 years. The first fortress was built in 1120 by Vesian de Vézins to command the Lévezou district. Following a disastrous fire in 1642, the only remains of this original castle are the vaulted rooms of the ground floor. The castle was then redeveloped in the Renaissance ...
Founded: 1120 | Location: Vézins-de-Lévézou, France

Château de Mélac

Château de Mélac is a rare fortified wealthy house of the southern Rouergue was built between the 14th and the 16th centuries. The castle has four main buildings which are interconnected by towers (Renaissance tower) and form an amazing inner courtyard with arcades. The castle forms a very contrasted ensemble because of its different architectural styles: exceptional interior courtyard with arcades supporting the galle ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Rome-de-Cernon, 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 Saint-Martin-Laguépie

Château de Saint-Martin-Laguépie is a ruins of a feudal castle, rebuilt during the 16th century and abandoned during the revolution. It dominates the confluence of the rivers Viaur and Aveyron and watch over the villages of Saint-Martin and Laguépie.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Laguépie, France

Château de Selves

Château de Selves was built in the 16th century and restored in the 19th century. Today it is privately owned.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Grand-Vabre, France

Montfrin Castle

Montfrin Castle was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Later the medieval castle was reconstructed as a residence. Today it is still owned the same family.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Montfrin, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.