Chateaux of Gironde

Château du Hamel

Château du Hamel is a château in the commune of Castets-en-Dorthe. The present building was constructed in the mid-16th century on the remains of a 14th-century castle. All that remains of this earlier structure is the base of the keep on the eastern side, seen in the interior as a heptagonal vaulted room. The château is privately owned.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Castets-en-Dorthe, France

Château La Louvière

Château La Louvière is a Bordeaux wine producer from the Pessac-Léognan appellation of Bordeaux. The first small vineyard on the estate was planted in 1476, in a location named La Lobeyra, on land owned by the Guilloche family since 1398. During the period from 1510 to 1550 many land plots were acquired by Pierre de Guilloche and his son Jean de Guilloche. Lady Roquetaillade, the heiress to the Guilloche family, sold L ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Léognan, France

Château Figeac

Château Figeac originates from an ancient estate that traces its roots back to the 2nd century, when a Gallo-Roman villa was built on the estate and named after a Figeacus. In the late 18th century, the property was close to 200 hectares in size, but was sold and subdivided several times in the 19th century until 1892, when Henri de Chevremont bought it. The castle has suffered during the centuries of wars and fires, th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Saint-Émilion, France

Château La Tour Carnet

Château La Tour Carnet estate has origins in the early Middle Ages, though the details are largely unknown, but takes its name from Jean Caranet or Carnet, an heir of Jean de Foix who is believed responsible for having built the château tower. The wine produced here was classified as one of ten Quatrièmes Crus (Fourth Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Saint-Laurent-Médoc, France

Château de Blanquefort

Château de Blanquefort is a ruined castle standing on a spur overlooking the Briolance valley. In the ninth century, a first fortification was built. The white stone gave the fort the name 'White Fort', in Latin Blanca Fortis, which evolved into the modern name Blanquefort. During the Plantagenet holding of Aquitaine, the fortifications were expanded into a royal fortress at the end of the thirteenth century b ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Blanquefort, France

Château de Sémignan

Château de Sémignan is located on a swampy flat area in near Saint-Laurent-Médoc. Reason for this place is unknown, it may have been used as a protected warehouse. The castle is mentione first time in 1322/1323 and it was altered during the 16th and 19th centuries. Today it lies in ruins.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Laurent-Médoc, France

Château de Curton

Château de Curton is a castle and a Bordeaux winery producing wines classified as Bordeaux AOC. The castle is situated on the edge of the town of Tizac-Curton, which takes its name from the first Seigneurs (lords) of Curton. The earliest member of the Curton family documented in official texts is Raimond de Curton appearing in the 11th century, appearing as a Lord from the beginning of the 12th century. From the end of ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Daignac, France

Château de la Trave

Arnaud-Bernard de Preyssac built the Château de la Trave in the early 14th century. It was destroyed in 1456 by the order of Charles VII of France.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Préchac, France

Château de Benauge

Château de Benauge is a medieval fortress in the commune of Arbis. It has been a stately home of the viscounts and earls of Benauges and the viscounts of Bezaume since at least the 13th century. It is one of the most impressive medieval castles in Gironde.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Arbis, France

Château du Bouilh

Château du Bouilh was built in 1786 for Jean-Frédéric de la Tour du Pin-Gouvernet by architect Victor Louis. The neoclassical semicircular château was built to host King Louis XVI on his visits to the area. There are 30 bedrooms, numerous grand salons, a library, vaulted ceilings and vineyard, a neo-gothic chapel, water tower, and seven hectares of caves.
Founded: 1786 | Location: Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France

Château de Carles

Château de Carles was originally laid during the course of the Hundred Years’ War and the building took its current appearance in the early 15th century. It was owned by the De Carle family. In the 17th century, Château de Carles became a beacon for thinkers and literary figures, but was sold as property of the nation during the Revolution, following which many of its buildings were demolished and the estate was reduc ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Saillans, France

Château d’Eck

Built in the late 11th century, Château d’Eck, is located in the commune of Cadaujac. It is one of the most beautiful medieval châteaux in the Bordeaux area. Flanked by four towers and an outer wall several metres tall, it also features admirable machicolations and loopholes. King William VIII of England established the reputation of its wines. His son, Edward, gave the château to the Church in 1287. The Bishops of B ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cadaujac, France

Château de la Mothe-Gajac

Château de la Mothe-Gajac was first mentioned in 1289, but the current square form castle with corner towers was rebuilt after the Hundred Years" War. 
Founded: 15th century | Location: Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, France

Château de Guilleragues

The Château de Guilleragues is a medieval, previously ruined but restored castle in the commune of Saint-Sulpice-de-Guilleragues. This early 14th-century castle, built at the side of a small valley, consists of a long rectangular building, composed of a fortified house flanked by two towers and two watchtowers at either extremity of an annexe of the same height, from 1564. The lower court and the common buildings i ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Sulpice-de-Guilleragues, France

Château de Malle

Château de Malle estate has, over the centuries, known numerous trials and tribulations. Both good and bad fortune. The Château was not inhabited regularly for practically two generations. In the early fifties Pierre de Bournazel took over the property inherited from his uncle and godfather, Pierre de Lur-Saluces. He was a man possessed by a love of the land and of stone and he decided to re-instil life into the buildi ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Preignac, France

Château Malromé

The Château Malromé is located in the commune Saint-André-du-Bois. The first recorded occurrence of the château and its vineyard dates from the 16th century by Étienne de Rostéguy de Lancre, a member of the Parliament of Bordeaux. Towards 1780, the château passed to Catherine de Forcade, the widow of the Baron de Malromé, who renamed it in memory of her spouse. In 1847, the château became the property of Adolp ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Saint-André-du-Bois, France

Château de Pitray

The Château de Pitray (built in the 17th century) is in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Prats. The name comes from Pic du Roy, or king’s peak, since the house was built on an ancient tumulus also known as Mothe de Prats, signifying that it was on land a little higher than the plain. It belonged to the Puch family before being acquired by Gabriel de Ségur, seigneur of Pitray. From there it passed on to Pierre de S ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Saint-Seurin-de-Prats, France

Château des Tours

The Château des Tours was built in the 14th century. At that time it had three towers: one had a polygonal interior and was the dungeon, and the others were circular flanking an oblong building on the east and west corners of its south face; then, at the same corners on the north face, there are sentry boxes with Corbels. The oldest part is in the south of the present castle and is also a little higher. North of the ori ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Montagne, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.