Château de Pontivy

Pontivy, France

According to legend, Pontivy was founded in 685 AD by an English monk called Ivy who built a wooden bridge across the Blavet, giving the town its name – Pont d’Ivy. The town really began to develop in the 12th century when Viscount Rohan settled there and in the 14th century it became the political and administrative capital of the viscounty.

The main site in Pontivy is its château, which overlooks the River Blavet a short walk from the town centre. The present castle was built in 1485 by Viscount Rohan, whose aristocratic line dates back to 1120. The Rohan family seat has seen plenty of action during its 500-year history including being besieged during the Duchy of Brittany War of Independence in 1488 and taken over by Catholic forces during the French Wars of Religion in 1589. The château, which retains many original features, is open to the public and often stages art exhibitions.

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Details

Founded: 1485
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

More Information

www.brittanytourism.com

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nazila Mais (2 years ago)
A Delightful Sunday Morning in the Countryside. A must see
Nazila Indira Mais (2 years ago)
A Delightful Sunday Morning in the Countryside. A must see
srgiorf (2 years ago)
Great castle, certainly more interesting when COVID-19 will be finished to get access to indoors.
srgiorf (2 years ago)
Great castle, certainly more interesting when COVID-19 will be finished to get access to indoors.
Tamer Eskandar (2 years ago)
Very nice historic place to visit. Unfortunately you can't go in cos the doors are locked. You could do a Photoshoot for wedding pictures , I have seen people doing that. Can't go wrong if you visited and walked around if you're in Pontivy.
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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.