Château de Peyrelade

Rivière-sur-Tarn, France

The Château de Peyrelade name is derived from the occitan 'Pèira Lada', meaning wide rock; an accurate description of the site. Objects found on the site suggest it was inhabited in prehistoric times.

Thanks to its position controlling the entrance to the Gorges du Tarn, it was one of the most important castles in the Rouergue province. It existed at least as far back as the 12th century, and was the scene of incessant battles and sieges until 1633 when it was dismantled on the orders of Richelieu.

The ruins give a good idea of the layout of the castle. The outer wall was more than 250m long, 10m high and 2.1m thick. The castle was dominated by a natural rock keep more than 50m high, only accessible from a round tower attached to it.

The Château de Peyrelade is one of a group of 23 castles in Aveyron which have joined together to provide a tourist itinerary as La Route des Seigneurs du Rouergue. Château de Peyrelade is open to visitors from mid-June to mid-September.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rasmus Starup-Hansen (3 years ago)
This place was not easy to find. We drove the wrong way 4 times before we parked the car along the road and decided to walk the rest of the way. It was well worth it though. The view from the top was great and it was interesting to explore the castle and it's history. At the entrance you are offered to watch a short movie in an airconditioned room about the history of the area
David Burton (3 years ago)
Atmospheric ruined mediaeval castle. The approach road is steep and narrow and the visit involves a lot of steps if you want to see everything. Not at all wheelchair or pushchair friendly. Some days they have costumed reenactors there and we visited on such a day. Vultures may be seen soaring around as the castle is perched right on the top of a rocky outcrop. There is small shop too.
Erwin Perik (3 years ago)
Nice for a quick castle trip
Frans Nieuwenhuyzen (5 years ago)
Beautiful castle. Lots of activities in the summer. Great for kids!
Philippe Schots (6 years ago)
Super, we were lucky there was a live show with real knights! Highly recommended
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.