Château d'Airvault

Airvault, France

The town of Airvault is dominated by the castle Château d'Airvault built on a hill. In the Middle Ages, this strategic position made it an important part of the powerful defensive system of the town.

The castle was constructed on an earlier Gallic oppidum in the 11-15th centuries. It was besieged and conquered in 1207 by Philip II of France. On 3 October 1569, after the Battle of Moncontour which saw the victory of the Duke of Anjou (the future Henri III), Gaspard de Coligny who commanded the defeated Calvinists the burning of the castle in revenge for René Ysoré (son of Jean Ysoré) who contributed to his defeat. Burned, the castle was abandoned by its owners.

At the start of the 20th century, the owner constructed a house in the lower court and planned to destroy the castle to sell the materials.


The Château d'Airvault is considered as one of the rare remaining specimens of military architecture of the 11th century. From this time, there remains the enceinte with its two uncrowned towers and its keep whose well-preserved silhouette marks the urban landscape.

The 14th- and 15th-century buildings inside the enceinte replaced in the original buildings.  Two quadrangular towers added obliquely to the corners of the enceinte on the ramparts are dated to the 13th or 14th century. The rectangular châtelet, defended by a bretèche and hoardings, is pierced by a door with a portcullis and murder hole giving access to the court.

The main dwelling of the 15th century is located along the west curtain wall. Among the outbuildings are the prison with its two vaulted cells lit by an arrowslit and a stable.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Thealp square (5 months ago)
A big thank you to Xavier and his wife for their welcome and kindness. This place is timeless. Calm and superb. A nice restoration job. The room is very clean, the packed lunch delicious and the breakfast very generous. We had a great time and will happily come back to spend a little more time there.
Rob Mil (4 years ago)
Neil Bryant (5 years ago)
Quaint village for 20 moon stop
Steve March (7 years ago)
Very delicious crepes! We had the savory lunch crepe and there is plenty of choice, could not manage a desert!
Darrell and Rosemary Nicholson (9 years ago)
Nice but average
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