The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.

The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.

The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

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Details

Founded: c. 1130
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ian Woolley (2 years ago)
Awesome place. Really busy, when I came out of season it was better, but I loved it.
Elmar Zwart (2 years ago)
A beautiful and a must to visit, when you are in Carcassonne. We took the route that goes to the right, which is better/nicer for children.
Alan K (2 years ago)
Loved it well worth a visit. Spent over two hours walking around and paid the extra for the audio guide. So much history to get lost in and you can spend hours here if you wished. Also nice little beer garden on the right when you finish the tour.
Angelo Vassallo (2 years ago)
Spectacular and really big! Take your time to visit it. View spectacular from its top and place full of history. One of the best castle complexes in Europe
Neha Dogra (2 years ago)
Drove to this castle all the way from Barcelona on my vacation. This castle has a breathtaking view from above! I went during off season to avoid large crowds which was a plus since there was barely anyone visiting. This castle has such deep history of the past so it made it even more intriguing to see. I recommend this castle to everyone!
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Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.