Château de Najac

Najac, France

Château de Najac was built in 1253 by the villagers on the orders of Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of king Louis IX of France. It was erected on the site of an older castle (a square tower) built in 1100.

The inner bailey of the castle forms a rough rectangle, with the longest side about 40 meters long. Towers project from the South and North walls, and there are towers at each corner, including an earlier square tower and a large round donjon from where the defence of the castle can be coordinated. The gate is protected by a barbican.

The castle has a world record with its 6.80 metre high archères (a thin aperture for archers), such a size being designed to allow use by three archers at the same time. A secret corridor, hidden within the walls, links the Romanesque tower to the chapel of the keep.

Possession of this castle, built 200 meters over the Aveyron River, was key to control of the region.

Najac has been near major events of history: the first English occupation, the Albigensian Crusade, the Hundred Years' War, the imprisonment of the Knights Templar, the peasants' revolts, and the French Revolution.

After having been used as a stone quarry in the 19th century, Najac was saved by the Cibiel family, who own it and open it to visitors. The Château de Najac is one of a group of 23 castles in Aveyron who have joined together to provide a tourist itinerary as the Route des Seigneurs du Rouergue.

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Details

Founded: 1253
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Angel B (16 months ago)
I love everything about this place!!. One of the most beautiful villages I've ever been to here in France by far
Dom Einhorn (17 months ago)
A scene right out of your favorite epic movie, the Château de Najac is located in Najac, France's Aveyron department, in southern France. The castle was built in 1253 by the villagers on the orders of Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Saint Louis, on the site of an older castle built in 1100 by Bertrand St Giles.
Lionel Couvreur (2 years ago)
Nice village with an amazing view from the fortress! Must see!
Nicolas Zilli (2 years ago)
Excellent visit, the guide was amazing and did make the story of this old fortress ruin lively and dynamic.
Sweet Clare (2 years ago)
I’ve visited lots of times with different friends who are always impressed. Last week I took my friend and her two children (6 & 1) who loved it! It’s so pretty, space to run around, beautiful views, and friendly staff who speak English (always a bonus when my French is rusty)! We got the the top just as the heavens opened and worried about the buggy left at the entrance; we needn’t have worried, the kind staff had covered it for us with a plastic sheet. A kind act worth acknowledging!
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