Villefranche-de-Conflent Fortress

Villefranche-de-Conflent, France

Built by Vauban in 1681 and fortified by Napoleon III, the fortress dominates the city of Villefranche-de-Conflent with its ramparts, counterscarp galleries, bastions, chapel, archaeology and caving museum and a 734 steps underground staircase. The ramparts - major site built by Vauban- are registered on the list of the Unesco World Heritage.

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Founded: 1681
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Timothy Lacroix (6 months ago)
You can take +700 steps from the village to the fort! Best cardio of the day
Pau GM (6 months ago)
Great castel! one of my favorite things to do at Villefranche-de-Conflent
Robert Bako (7 months ago)
Very nice place!
Stephen Price (11 months ago)
Worth the walk but ignore notices telling you it is private as there is a walking trail over montain
Bernard B (12 months ago)
Really great place with a lot of history! Take cash as the card machine is often down. Take the tour from the office just inside the walls of Villefranche that way you won't have to walk all the way up the steep mountainside to the fort! (Unless your very fit)
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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.