La Roche-en-Ardenne Castle

La Roche-en-Ardenne, France

La Roche-en-Ardenne Castle ruins lie on a rocky outcrop dominating the green valley which is nestled in a loop formed by the river Ourthe and the steep sides of the Deistermountain. The ruins, dating back to the 11th century, look gloomy but impressive, emphasized by the roughly piled slate walls.

From the 12th century on the castle took a strategic place in the development and defence of trade and it got to be a halting place in the trading route of English wool to Lombardia in present Italy.

The castle was conquered by the French in 1681 who rebuilt the castle so that it could withstand the new artillery.

La Roche-en-Ardenne Castle was inhabited until 1780 when it was abandoned. It quickly fell to ruin when in the 19th century it was stripped of all useful materials by the villagers of La Roche.

In 1903 during superficial excavations, inside the castle walls, pieces of polished flint, a whetstone and several shards of prehistoric pottery were discovered. Also, in 1954 a Roman coin minted in the 4th century was found. In 1995 more serious excavation works started. Proof was found that the castle site once housed a Celtic oppidum and a Roman fort.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bert Van Laar (12 months ago)
Use your imagination! See the knights working their way up the very steep slopes. Trying, but not succeeding, to take the castle. There is a legend attached to this castle as well. Can you guess which tower is was?
Björn Deprest (13 months ago)
The castle is rather small, but it gives a nice view over the town. The bar inside the castle looks nice, however it was closed during my visit, probably due to covid
Derik ten Napel (13 months ago)
A great middle ages castle ruin. You receive a paper with an explanation of different areas within the castle to explain what it used to be and when it might have been constructed. There's also one or two cafeterias which were closed (probably because of covid19). I learned a lot and it had some great views.
corvusvikinger (14 months ago)
Nice ruins, would have been nice to see it back in it's day but still. Very slippery when wet though be warned
Harry van Dijk (14 months ago)
Very nice castle /ruin. For two months (July and August) a nice performance is being held at 10 pm every night. Once a week with fireworks. The show is about the ghost of the castle and its origins. Good lighting and good story.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.