Château de Saint-Sauveur

Rocbaron, France

On a wooded hilltop just southeast of Rocbaron village are the ruins of Château de Saint-Sauveur. A short hike up from the village visits the ruins and gives you a magnificent view across the land.

About 10 minutes up the trail are the ruins of the ancient chapel. Really just the stone walls of the old building sitting in the trees at the edge of a small clearing. Interesting, but the real ruins are another 10-15 minutes up to the peak.

At the extreme top of the hill sit the stone ruins of 12th-century Saint Sauveur Castle. Enough of the castle walls remain on the eagles-nest site to give a Medieval feeling about it. Across the hills to the northeast, the castle ruins of Forcalqueiret are clearly visible.

Written history of the castle is rather scarce. Study of the stone defenses indicates 11th century, and possibly 10th century. The story of the castle's demise is also verbal and variable. One theory is that the castle was destroyed during local wars. Another, possibly more plausible, is that the isolated site was abandoned for the newer and more accessible castle of Forcalqueiret.

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Rocbaron, France
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Details

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

More Information

www.beyond.fr

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Franck Olivieri (2 years ago)
Très belle vue
Ann Tykaa (2 years ago)
Moi, j'adore ce genre de lieux donc je sur note certainement. J'ai apprécié l'effet miroir de la mer au loin et le paysage forcément.
Loïc Web (2 years ago)
Balade facile. Stationnement facile. Ne convient pas aux poussettes, mais enfants 4/5 ans sans problèmes. Belle vue c'est à faire mais c'est quand même pas extraordinaire. Il reste très peu de ruines.
Willy (2 years ago)
Promenade sympathique calme et belle vue
Michel Mercadier (3 years ago)
Après une petite grimpette de 3/4h on arrive au sommet d'une petite montagne d'où l'on a une vue superbe de 360°.
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Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.