The current Château de la Ballue was built by Gilles de Ruellan in 1620 and renovated in 1705. In the 19th century there was a glass factory. The highlight of any stay at the castle will be tea and a guided tour of those magnificent gardens.

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Founded: 1620
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nimrod Gornstein (3 months ago)
Superior place. Finally a place that respects itself AND its customers. Best value for money I had in a long time. Totally recommended.
Richard Darby (4 months ago)
We could have wept when we departed this beautiful home. We stayed in the Perse bedroom suite which was perfection with fabric walls, the most comfortable bed and a generous bath. The gardens are astonishing, the swimming pool was heaven. It was so peaceful. Bird song lulled me to sleep on the sun lounger. Victor and Tio, sons of the owners where so very charming. So kind, so helpful, so exceptional. The breakfast (made and served by the very lovely Marie) included pastries of a standard we have never tasted on our many visits to France. This is an exceptional establishment. Did we mention tea and cake in the orangery when we arrive? You will have missed something extraordinary if you do not visit this place. Cannot recommend more highly. Thank you for allowing us to stay.
Repkov (6 months ago)
Superb place. Very quiet. Grand views. Kind and very friendly and helpful people
Miuccia Prd (2 years ago)
Lovely, very characteristic place
Necroliner (2 years ago)
Very wholesome owners, the place is gorgeous, very calm and far from noise pollution. Do not hesitate !
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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.