Château de Durfort

Vignevieille, France

Château de Durfort was erected on a rocky piton which overlooks the valley of the Orbieu. The present ruins are those of a strengthened habitat, including a chapel, dwellings with rectangular windows and a tower. High thick walls, cellars and wells, arched rooms of square buildings, corner turrets, watch towers and a main tower are still visible.

There is no documentary evidence for the initial construction of this fortress. The earliest written references mentioning the castle date from 1093.

After the Crusades against Cathars in the mid-13th century, the royal power confirmed its conquest of the region by building five large fortresses and a network of watch towers. The Château de Durfort was written into this defensive system, aimed at protecting the new frontiers of the Kingdom of France. 

In 1659, Louis XIV signed the Treaty of the Pyrenees with the Kingdom of Spain. This treaty altered the borders, giving Roussillon to France. The frontier advanced to the crests of the Pyrenees and the various fortresses of the region lost their strategic importance. The Château de Durfort was, therefore, altered to make it more comfortable.

In the 18th century, the castle seems to have been abandoned but its isolated position served to preserve its ruins. Today, the castle is private property; it may be visited free of charge with prior authorisation from the owners. The building is not preserved or maintained; there is a risk of falling stones.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Brigitte Pourquier (3 years ago)
Visible de loin et non visitable, mais ça mériterait d'en faire quelque chose !
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