Château de Montaillou

Montaillou, France

At the top of the Montaillou village is all that remains of The Château de Montaillou, the rectangular castle: a ruined tower and evidence of walls and earthworks. The castle was built by the lords of Alion around the end of the 12th century. Occupying a platform roughly 100m long by 30 to 40 m wide, all that now remains are three walls of the ruined keep. Access was controlled by a dry moat cut into bare rock. The courtyard was surrounded by a curtain wall, the base of which is partially conserved. Further dry moats provided defence to the north and east, while to the south the steep slope of the site was sufficient. The plan of the castle was simple: a wall linked to a tower followed the contours of the hill.

In 1226 Bernard d'Alion paid nominal homage to the King of France, but his sympathies still lay with the Cathars. He married Esclarmonde, daughter of Roger IV, Count of Foix in 1236. The witnesses were Cathar parfaits or at least believers. In 1258, Bernard was condemend by the inquisition as a Cathar heretic and burned alive in Perpignan. The castle was taken by his father-in-law and became a frontier fortress, between the County of Foix, the French King's lands and Aragon. The first written mention of the castle is in 1272, in a list of the Count of Foix's fortresses. At the end of the 13th century, the Count doubled the thickness of the walls. The castle survived the Albigensian Crusade but fell into disrepair later.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.