Château de Castelnou

Castelnou, France

From 990 AD, Château de Castelnou served as the administrative and military capital of the Viscount of Vallespir. Its irregular pentagonal plan follows the rocky outcrop on which it was built, this elevated position providing defence against enemy attacks.

The castle was taken by the troops of James II of Majorca en 1286, and again in 1483. Largely demolished in 1559, it was no longer restored or inhabited and deteriorated throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. At the time of the French Revolution it became the property of the commune. It was sold to Viscount Satgé in 1875 and, by 1900, had become again an elegant and habitable fortress. It was acquired in 1946 by Charles-Emmanuel Brousse who was married to Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, a famed American spy. Having been ravaged by a terrible fire, in 1987 it was sold and has since been restored.

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Castelnou, France
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Details

Founded: 990 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lilian Jordy (2 years ago)
Picturesque village and castle, timeless place! I feel like I'm in a fairytale each time I come here.
Gary Bilkus (3 years ago)
Great location but unfortunately closed for renovation, and you only find out after climbing a steep hill.....
I To (3 years ago)
If you are in the area, don't hesitate to visite this medieval village! Especially the bar with the terrace with view on the valley.
Claudia Maris (3 years ago)
Really lovely castle, great scenery unfortunately it was closed for work when we tried to revisit two weeks ago but the village of Castelnou is definitely worth seeing. There are some great craft shops, bars and restaurants. We visited in October and May and had no problems parking either time. A must visit!
Antonio Ca' Zorzi (3 years ago)
Very impressive castle on top of a mountain wich overlooks two valleys. The ruins are majestic.
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.