Château de Puivert

Puivert, France

The Château de Puivert is a so-called Cathar castle on top of a hill overhanging the village and lake. The construction of the present chateau dates from the 13th century. The first mention is in 1170 when it belonged to the Congost family before the Albigensian Crusade. These lords practised Catharism and were accused as heretics. Then, in November 1210, the castle was subjected for three days to a siege by the army of Thomas Pons de Bruyère, lieutenant of Simon de Montfort. The castle subsequently became the property of the northern barons. All that is left of this older castle is a few sections of wall to the east. A collapse of the natural dam on the lake at the foot of the site caused the destruction of part of the town of Mirepoix, 30 km to the north, in Ariège in 1279. According to legend, this was because a certain Dame Blanche wanted to daydream on the lake shores, which were inaccessible in bad weather. She asked that the water level be lowered and work undertaken to accomplish this goal led to the collapse.

At the start of the 14th century, Thomas de Bruyère (grandson of Pons) and his wife Isabelle de Melun had the new castle built to the east of the old castle. The remains of the old castle are still visible. The coat-of-arms of Isabelle de Melun, who was the daughter of a Grand Chamberlain of France, still exists in the 'new' castle. The building was given a symbolic and picturesque character that can still be seen today.

Today the castle is privately owned. Thanks to its very well preserved keep it has been a location for many films like The Ninth Gate.

The best preserved part of the castle, the square keep measures 15 m by 15 m with a height of 35 m. Originally, it adjoined the manor house. On the west of the tower can be seen pieces of perpendicular masonry, from which it can be deduced that the buildings were joined in this area. The keep comprises

On the fourth floor of the keep is the minstrels' room. It is so called because eight very fine sculptures of musicians with their instruments are represented in the room. Legend has it that the town of Puivert welcomed a great gathering of troubadours in the 12th century. The instruments seen in the room are the bagpipes, flute, tambourin, rebec, lute, gittern, portable organ, psaltery and the bowed hurdy-gurdy.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

La ville, Puivert, France
See all sites in Puivert

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

3.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anderson S. (5 months ago)
It’s a wednesday 2:25pm, we drove for 1h 30min to get here and the Chateau is closed with no explanation. It says it should be open between 10am and 5pm except on Saturdays and school holidays, neither one the case. So fruatrating!
Phillip Spencer (7 months ago)
Lovely old Cathar chateau with a nice walk up from the car park and excellent views. Only reason not five star review is that we could not see inside as it was closed for a month from 25 November.
A. van Dijk (10 months ago)
When you visit more kathar ruïnes this one is than maybe the one where you expect nothing but in reality there is the most to see. This one still is a castle with a few rooms you can enter. (Only by stairs so not by wheelchair) what you read about horses is correct but it is not irritating. There is a horse to keep the grass areas short. And another plus is that it's only a short and simple walk from the parking to the castle gate. You have to buy ticket to go in. Price is 6-7 euro.
Max Watson (12 months ago)
Very interesting and well preserved castle. Parking reasonably close to the entrance.
J W (2 years ago)
The Ninth Gate to the Kingdom of Shadows.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.