Castles in Occitanie

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 de Castagnac

Château de Castagnac was built in the 12th century to the site of older moated stronghold. The oldest document of castle dates from 1162. The current castle has a rectangular plan with four round towers at the corners. At the beginning of 19th  century, the castle was completely restored by the owners.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castagnac, France

Château de Courrensan

The Château de Courrensan was built in the 13thm 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. It has been protected as a monument historique since 1979 and is noteworthy especially for its 15th-century columned chimney in a second-floor room. A ground-floor room in the 18th-century wing contains impressive wood decoration.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Courrensan, France

Château de Mérens

Construction of Château de Mérens castle dates from the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th centuries. It was altered in the early 17th century. The hub of the castle corresponds to the original Gascon structure; the south west square tower belongs to this period of construction. At the start of the 17th century, the castle was furnished with a new system of defence, including a round walk. At the same time, wi ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mérens, France

Château de Ferrières

Château de Ferrières was originally built in the 11th century and reinforced during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century. In the 18th century it was used as a prison.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Ferrières, France

Château de Nages

Château de Nages was built during the Hundred Years War in 1356 against the English army. It was damaged during the French Wars of Religion.
Founded: 1356 | Location: Nages, France

Château du Bezu

Château du Bezu, also called Les Tiplies, was a Cathar castle located on a hill top near to the village of Le Bézu. In the popular imagination Le Bézu is an old Templar fortress, from where the Templars treasure was rescued when they were persecuted by the French King Philip le Bel in 1307. There is very little evidende that it was ever a Templar fortress, but plenty that it was a Cathar stronghold at ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Le Bézu, France

Château La Commanderie

Château La Commanderie in Plaigne is one of the rare Cathar castles still inhabited. La Commanderie was built in the 12th century by Guillaume de Plaigne, a Cathar Lord, who took an active role in the massacre of Avignonet and afterwards joined the besieged stronghold as a member of the garrison, along with his brother, at the famous siege of Montségur. In the 16th century, Barthelemy de Plaigne extended the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Plaigne, France

Château des Guilhem

The Château des Guilhem was built for the Guilhems, lords of Clermont-l’Hérault, at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th centuries. The castle stands on Puech Castel hill, overlooking the town and surrounding country. The strategic site permitted control of the Hérault valley and the road to Bédarieux and the higher cantons, as well as the feudal town which was itself fortified so ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Clermont-l'Hérault, France

Château de Corbère

Château de Corbère was first mentioned in 1241, but it was built already in the 12th century. It was enlarged and remodelled in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 19th century it fell into disrepair before were completely looted. Today the castle is restored and privately owned.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Corbère, 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

Mas de Las Fons

Mas de Las Fons castle was built from the 12th to 15th centuries. The Romanesque chapel dates from the 12th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calce, France

Château de Montaillou

At the top of the Montaillou village is all that remains of The Château de Montaillou, the rectangular castle: a ruined tower and evidence of walls and earthworks. The castle was built by the lords of Alion around the end of the 12th century. Occupying a platform roughly 100m long by 30 to 40 m wide, all that now remains are three walls of the ruined keep. Access was controlled by a dry moat cut into bare rock. The ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Montaillou, France

Château de Prat

Château de Prat was first mentioned in 1273 when it belonged to the Counts of Comminges. The castle dates mainly from the early 15th century. The chapel is decorated with a stained glass.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Prat-Bonrepaux, 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 Boissières

Château de Boissières was built around 1577. It was remodeled in the  18th century.
Founded: 1577 | Location: Boissières, France

Château de Luc

The Château de Luc was built in the 12th century on a previous Celtic site. The castle, as a strategic point between the two provinces of Gévaudan and Vivarais, guarded a link to the south of France of the Auvergne frequently used by pilgrims of Saint Gilles, also known as the Regordane Way, on which it was a toll-gate. For the first 100 years or so of its existence it was the home of the Luc family. In the 1 ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Luc, 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 Cambiac

The Château de Cambiac is a 15th-century castle, probably constructed on the foundations of an earlier structure. It was given to the sieur Milhau, constable of Montauban, by Marguerite de Navarre. At the end of the 19th century, massive restoration works gave the castle an extra floor and a pavilion. A Louis XII style was incorporated both inside and out.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Cambiac, France

Château de Latoue

The Château de Latoue is a castle first built in the 12th century, with major additions and alterations in the 13th, 16th and 18th centuries.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Latoue, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.