Château Moncade

Orthez, France

The Château Moncade is a ruined castle in the commune of Orthez in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département. Construction of the castle was started in 1242 by the Gaston VII, Viscount of Béarn (the keep, known as the tour de Moncade) taking advantage of the absence of Edward III. When the King returned, Gaston was imprisoned and had to swear allegiance before being released. He subsequently reneged.

It was the residence of the Kings of Béarn when their capital was Orthez. Standing on top of a hill above the town, it afforded views of the surrounding county over a radius of more than 30 kilometres. The central tower was surrounded by high curtain walls and moats up to 15 metres deep. Entry was by a drawbridge.

In the 14th century, Gaston Phébus, Count of Foix, altered it between 1368 and 1375. The castle was burned during the Wars of Religion in 1569. It was sold during the French Revolution to dismantlers who largely demolished the curtain wall.

The only remains are the keep (in a good state of preservation), the moats (in course of restoration) and remnants of the curtain wall. The castle is open to the public (paying) and contains, among other items, a model of the site.



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Rue Moncade 83, Orthez, France
See all sites in Orthez


Founded: 1242
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anne-Marie Bareyt (2 years ago)
Super !
Christine GINET (3 years ago)
Beautiful but not many information
Delphine Mousseau (3 years ago)
The remaining tower of a medieval castle. Ground floor and first floor host a short exhibition explaining the story of the castle in it's surroundings. You need to pay a small fee to access the top terrace of the tower which offers an amazing view on the region. Nice way to get a feel for the area's geography and history.
Michael McKenna (6 years ago)
At the top of the Hill in town. Excellent example of an old Château. Partially restored. Inside you can pay around €4 to go up the tower to the roof. Well worth it. Very steep stairs. On the way up you can see where the floors used to be an the fireplaces. A small heavy door at the top takes you out onto the roof. Fantastic views. Make sure you lock the door when you leave the roof.
Castle Biker (7 years ago)
Old 13th Century tower. For 4 euro you can visit the inside and go to the top of the tower. Tower is well restored. Was worth the visit.
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