Château de La Caze

Sainte-Enimie, France

Château de La Caze was built in the 15th century by Soubeyrane Alamand and Guillaume de Montclar. During the French Revolution it was used as a prison. Today it is a luxury hotel.

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Details

Founded: 1420
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

More Information

www.chateaudelacaze.com

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Pegler (8 months ago)
Lovely location, albeit remote so you must be prepared to do some careful driving to get anywhere as the Gorge roads are very tricky.The castle is fascinating and grounds lovely, the staff were young, efficient and friendly, and the manager charming. The rooms in the annexe were spacious, comfortable but there was no wi-fi access, which meant going to the main building to do anything. It would also have been nice if the little fridge was stocked with something - soft drinks and water would have been fine, we didn't expect fine wines. The food was excellent, but the menu with four main courses was unchanged, so after five days we were repeating our eating ! Most guests stayed a night or two; if you stay longer you need to think about where you go and what to do during the day, although the pool and jacuzzi do help to while awayvthe time. We enjoyed it but felt five nights was enough.
Sofie Dbr (10 months ago)
Once again had an amazing stay. Very beautiful room and amazing location. Very friendly staff and great food. Only the first evening we had some issues with the dinner service. We had to wait long for the drinks and the food. I suppose it is not easy now to work with the new covid rules. Otherwise had a great stay.
Leo Turpin (2 years ago)
I went for dinner, what a wonderful experience, the place is amazing, the food was delicious, great combination of flavours and the staff was very professional and with a great sense of humor.
Olivier Cruchant (2 years ago)
FANTASTIC! Delicious food, amazing scenery and super nice staff. I heavily recommend. After years of travel in EU, US, Australia and Africa, this is among the best accomodation you can find in the world. a world-class scenery with French-grade high quality food and authenticity (the castle is 500 yrs old, not some BS 5-month old plaster hangar painted as a castle - here it is truly genuine), and a very decent price. Btw we're french but I write english first so that the world can read this and come to this life changing place. Resumé pour les français: A FAIRE ABSOLUMENT!!! Resto exceptionnel, staff cool et très pro, localisation fabuleuse et propriété unique (château vieux de 500 ans, piscine, jacuzzi, Tarn au pied du lit). Très bon prix (l'équivalent aux US - eg les lodges de la Sierra Californienne sont généralement 2x à 3x plus chers et bien moins authentiques)
TourismCreative Agency (2 years ago)
Rude morning staff member. Wifi in the lounge did not work. Dirty room. Carpets lifting from the floor. Could not order a glass of red wine (was served a glass of PORT). Overcharged by 25% for drinks we eventually could get at the bar.
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.