Château de Puissalicon

Puissalicon, France

Château de Puissalicon was built in the 11th century. Two imposing towers lies over the dungeon which is now in ruins. The castle is privately owned, but can be visited in part during the Heritage Days in September.

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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alex Mahon (5 months ago)
Unbelievable experience. Incredible staff, beautiful facilities and rooms. Absolutely perfect.
Mike Dodds (6 months ago)
Magnificent venue, excellent service , quality food at a sensible price, including wine. Will definitely return
Luana Axtens (6 months ago)
Absolutely amazing, would also love to do in the summer. Merci Beau coup
Shayne Mathews (6 months ago)
This is an absolutely stunning property. The best part about this place is the staff who made us feel comfortable and ensure we had a great stay. This is a perfect example of efficient and courteous service without being overbearing. The room was very comfortable and had great views. We ate multiple meals at the restaurant and we're very pleased with it. They are very accommodative of dietary preferences such as vegetarians, vegans, etc. The spa is great as well. We wish we had a longer stay. Must visit if you are in the area.
Laura Minces (8 months ago)
Very nice house, friendly and helpful staff. Being able to go to the spa with kids is great during winter. However, kitchenware was incomplete. Missing bowls abd chopping boards (just one plastic old one) and the pans were all scrated (scratched pans are toxic). Bikes are available for guests but they are old and rusty. They should be fixed and maintained.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.