Hohennagold Castle is a ruined castle overlooking the Black Forest town of Nagold. The ruins represent a relatively well-preserved 12th-century castle. The keep behind the curtain walls, a tower in the north-western corner of the complex as well as the outer ward with half-round and angular towers, are still visible. Around the castle there appears to have been a moat.
An early medieval fortification was possibly erected at the location of the future castle around 750 by Count Ruodbrecht, one of Charlemagne"s uncles. The original castle was built around 1100 by the Counts of Nagold, who became the Counts palatine of Tübingen in 1145. The castle complex was extensively expanded between 1153 and 1162.
In the middle of the 13th century the castle passed into the possession of the Counts of Hohenberg. Thereafter, one branch of this family called itself Counts of Nagold and had the castle transformed into their residence in the 13th and 14th century. In 1364 the sold the castle to the Counts of Württemberg. The new owners added bastions and towers to the outer ward and had the castle occupied by their ministeriales. Towards the end of the Thirty Years" War, the castle was conquered by Bavarian troops in 1645 and severely damaged. In 1646 the remnants of the castle were pulled down.
In 1945 the northwest tower was destroyed by a low-level attack carried out by Allied planes. The castle remains were tentatively restored after World War II, trying to preserve the castle as a ruin.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.