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November 9 2012 6 09 /11 /November /2012 07:30
French Department :
66 - Pyrénées Orientales


To discovert this castle, listen

concerto of Bach

The Castle :
Situation :

   The small town of 'Salses le Château' is located at 12km on the North of Perpignan, near  the Mediterranean sea and the motorway A9 to Spain.   Click to see where is this castle

    A name of town with the word “Château” (Castle in English), you understood that "your French-Knight" could go there.



Description of the castle :

     This town is known for its powerful and splendid fortress (I would speak to you later about it), but curiously i read on my geographic map a symbol of ruined fortification to a hundred meters on North. I must go to this enigma.
    Near the edge of the rampart of the big fortress of Salses,  i see a small hill.  Is it the place of old castle ?



       In front of me, there is a beautiful wall ! ..... I imagine you say : "The french-Knight is stupid, no wall of castle here !"

No, I have no problem with my eyes, these stones are well a very old ruin, sometimes named:

  1. Old castle,
  2. Primitive castle,
  3. Antic fortification.

  Come with me to look at together the architecture of this "wonderful" antic castle.

      I walk around the old fortification, and I see it is a classical fortress. There are 4 walls and a little tower at each corner. I think this old tower had a rectangular form. It is too old to have a circular form.




    Of course, it is not a palace like Versailles of French king Louis XIV (list of kings) but it is possible to remark a foundation of an inside wall. At the center, there is a circular hole. I imagine it was a cistern or a well.

   Now, it possible to draw architect's plan.


Before to leave this old ruined castle, i see the big fortress near.




History of castle : 
  1. About the 4th century, a fort is present (it is what some historians imagine).
  2. In 943, a place named Salsulae pertaining to the abbey of Lagrasse is quoted in a text.
  3. About 1074, a named family Salses (?) is written in an old text.
  4. About 1172, Alphonse II of Aragon buys the grounds and founds a village.
  5. In 1173 (?), the village is surrounded by rampart.
  6. In 1462, the Earl of Foix attacks the fortifications with success.
  7. In 1493, the place belongs again to Aragon.
  8. In 1496, the village is plundered and the castle is destroyed by the Marshal of Saint Andre.
  9. At the 21st century, the visit is free. Be careful, a lot of stones are moving.

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October 9 2012 3 09 /10 /October /2012 07:30
French Department :
74 - Haute Savoie

listen this music's Brams to visit

The castle :

Situation :

    Duingt is a small city located at 12km in the South of Annecy and at 30km in the North-East of Albertville.

(Where is it ?)



Description of the castle :

     On the lake, near the road,  a curious "building" is in front of me. What is it ?

  Normally, it is a medieval castle on a island. This construction has 2 names :

  • 1 - "Châteauvieux", (that mean Old Castle) because the lord had built a new castle a few years after.
  • 2 - "Château Ruphy", name of the owner : Baron on 19th century.

    To discover this construction, i was obliged to walk in a small path and i was surprise to see a beautiful castle.  It seem to be small but around there are 3 curtains to protect the "house of lord". There are not height now, but imagine them 500 years ago.

    Have you seen the big rounded keep with the crenelation ?



          This castle is private. It is not possible to visit inside.




History of the castle:
  1. At the 11th century, a fortification seems built on an island.
  2. About 1670, an old text attribute the castle with Marie-Jeanne Cambric, wife of the Duke of Savoy Charles-Emmanuel II.
  3. In 1839, the Baron Cypion Ruphy buys the castle. Very many modifications are carried out, giving the current aspect.
  4. In 1988, the site is registered in the Database of Historic buildings.
  5. At the 20th century, by marriage the family of Count of Certeau becomes the new owner.
  6. At the 21st century, it is impossible to visit the castle.

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May 27 2012 1 27 /05 /May /2012 07:00
French Department :
01 - Ain
You must visit this castle with

a beautiful concerto of  Bach



The castle :

Situation :

    Châtillon sur Chalaronne is a city located at 24km in the South-West of Bourg en Bresse and at 20km in the North-East of Villefranche sur Saône.

(Where is it ?)



Description of the castle :

     As much of fortifications of the Middle Ages, the castle of Châtillon is posed on a small hill, but with all trees, it is hidden.



    The first pleasure with a ruined fortification is to see the outside and the hight wall. The general form is a quadrangular curtain protected on the angles by rounded towers.

     All wall have some rounded tower. There are a lot of openings on wall for bow and gun.


Have you seen the red bricks ?  For a French-knight who lives in Mountain, the color is not "normal", grey ou white stone is the color of "my" Alpine castle. 


   At the end of 12th century, all square turns had been replaced by a rounded tower, Imagine my surprise I see this. Why the Count of Savoy had leaved this ?

     The only explanation is that this tower had another function.... But which?


                I walk, I walk, I walk... But where is the main door ?

    Here it is, with its semicircular arch. After the destruction of the castle at the 16th century, carries, bridge, harrow, defense disappeared and it is only the phantom of the entry which awaits me.



           While entering, it is the shock !

   Absolutely............  Look at the large green space. .... For a medieval castle, it is a large fortification !


With the heat day of spring, the shade of trees is good to dream..... Imagine : Soldiers, Count of Savoy, horses etc...



History of the castle:
  1. During Ist century before JC, Romans builds a Castillo on the hill.
  2. At the 11th century, a castle is quoted in a text built by a lord of Châtillon.
  3. In 1272, Sibille de Bâgé married with the Count Philippe Ist. Chalaronne becomes Savoy.  This castle is the first guard of the new County.
  4. During the 13th century, this castle become one of the Count residences.
  5. In the middle of the 14th century, Amédé VI, also appointed "the Count Vert", give sumptuous festivals in this castle.
  6. At the end of the 16th century, the kingdom of France of Henri IV (see list of the kings) is in war against Savoy. The castle is shaved by the troops of the Duke of Biron.
  7. In 1927, part of the castle is registered in the Database of Historic Buildings.
  8. At the end of the 20st century, the ruined castle is consolidated and arrange for some medieval demonstrations during summer.
  9. At the 21st century, the visit of the castle is free except when there are some estival historical demonstrations.

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March 22 2012 5 22 /03 /March /2012 07:30
French Department :
11 - Aude

You must visit this castle with

a beautiful concerto of Mozart



The castle :

Situation :

    Gruissan is a city located at 12km in the South-Est of Narbonne.

(Where is this town?)


  Description of the castle :

     At the 21st century, Gruissan is know by its beach near sea of Méditerannée, but 1 thousand years ago, it was a fortified place.



    When I leave the beach to visit the small village, I can see a big stone over the roof. It is not a mountain but the ghost of an old castle. On a map, its name is : "La Tour Barberousse"

    At the bottom, I imagine how it was difficult to be an invader on a Middle Age period. A few meters on right, there are some ruined walls. The castle does not hide its medieval origins.

    To discover this castle, i must walk up on a stone-stair, but there is a noticeboard to inform the risk.

It says : "Be careful of the wind or when it is raining".



     The 1st construction i see is the big rounded tower. It is beautiful !

   Yes, it is beautiful to see a broken tower because it is easy to understand the inside. The question is : "Is it a tower to be on the watch or to leave inside ?".

    The wall is very deep, it is normal for a tmedieval tower. I can see 2 levels and I imagine, there are 1 or 2 levels under.
   Have you seen the window with 2 benches ?... I imagine a beautiful woman reading and staying her lord.
   Under, there are a lot of rooms : Cistern, cellars. It is dangerous to go down but...... (it is my secret).
   And now, it is my pleasure time when 1 visit a ruined medieval castle. I seat down , I eat a fruit (with my mouth) and I "eat with my eyes" the beautiful panorama.



History of the castle:
  1. In 768, Pépin le Bref passed the bishop of Narbonne the management of marine affair and the exploitation of the salt works.(Salt is a very invaluable good at that time because freezer do not exist).
  2. In 864, Charles II (see list of Kings) gave the Church of Narbonne half the tolls paid for the right of way on land and sea.
  3. In 1084, a division announces the existence of the castle of Gruissan that disputes the Archbishop of Narbonne and 2 lords installed on the site. It is the first mention official of a castle on the territory of Gruissan of which we do not know almost anything on its architecture (It should be a simple square tower, surrounded by blind ramparts).
  4. During the end of 11th and the beginning of the 12th century, many incursions of pirates obliges the peasants and working exploiting the salt works to be protected into the castle.
  5. From 1209, beginning of the Albigensian Crusade. Curiously, Gruissan is not quoted in the combat or the donations.
  6. In 1245, the old tower (disappeared today) was the property of the 2 owners.
  7. In 1247, end of work of another tower with circular form. It had been directed by the archbishop Guillaume de Broa.
  8. In 1289, the insecurity of the area obliges the Archbishop to require Royale protection. A garrison is sent by the King.
  9. In 1296, Gilles Aycelin, archbishop of Narbonne, and the lord of Gruissan buy together the castle and lands of Béranger de Boutenac (vassal of the Viscount of Narbonne).
  10. In 1311, a lord of the manor is named to direct the grounds and the castle.
  11. In 1341, the lord of the manor names Pierre Gaubert.
  12. In 1582, the wars of religion which started in 1562, devastate the country. The castle is taken successively by the troops of Montmorency (the Duke of Merry).
  13. In 1585, royal soldiers are sent to occupy the castle and the village. The Chapter of Narbonne even thinks of too often destroying this fortress object of conflicts.
  14. In 1597, at the end of war the soldiers leave the castle, and the lord of Gruissan takes again his very devastated field, and his very damaged "fortification". The transformation of the methods of wars make useless this medieval fortress.
  15. About 1610, the Spanish attack and destroy the castle. It is the end of its live !
  16. In 1690, it is used as stone quarry for the construction of the houses with its feet. It is quoted as a ruin.
  17. In 1948, the site is classified in the Database of Historic Monuments.
  18. During the end of the 20th century, it is consolidated and made available to the pedestrians.
  19. At the 21st century, the visit is free. It will be dangerous ton go up when the weather is not beautiful (wind, rain etc...)

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March 15 2012 5 15 /03 /March /2012 07:30
French Department :
08 - Ardennes

Please, visit this church with the

slow adagio for violin


The Fortified Church :

     The symbol of medieval fortification is the castle, but some little towns have not the chance to be protect by a strong castle. One of the solution is to built a forified church.
  Here is a exemple of this kind of fortification.

Situation :

   The small town of Nouvion sur Meuse is located  between Sedan and Charlevilles Mézière. (Where is this church ?).


Description of the church :

   As like the other churches in France, this construction is near the downtown. My special dictionary of fortifications has a little text to explain this church, but i am surprised that it seems to be "normal".

    The bell-tower has certainly to be used as turn to see ennemies, but no fortification is front of me.

    It is while approaching that I see a door with a small machicolation over.
I think :  "It is a minimal construction against attack" ... ans suddenly, i see an other machicolation.

     On the back, there is a surprise. This small building is like a little tower (a refuge ?). The angle is made with some big ashlars and built with quality. Have you seen the different stone between wall and angle ?

     My "medieval eyes of knight"   have remarked a lot of holes on the wall. It is for medieval guns. I imagine there were built on 15th century.
  It is really a beautiful construction of defensive hole.

   After 30 minutes to look this church i think : "All feudal constructions are often interesting !"


History of castle :
  1. At the 15th century (?), with plundering and the insecurity, the church is built to protect the villagers.
  2. In 1972, the church is registered in french database of Historic Buildings.
  3. At the 21st century, the discovery of outside is free. The visit of inside is authorized except when there is  the religious office, but the tower is not worth visiting..



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March 6 2012 3 06 /03 /March /2012 07:30
French Department :
38 - Isère

Please, visit this tower with

the magic music of Mozart


The Tower :
Situation :

   The small village of Laval is located at 30km on North-Est of Grenoble and at 5km on the South of Brignoud. (Where is this tower ?).


Description  :

   I imagine you think : "Why the French-Knight give us an article of a small tower not important ?".

    My response is : "This tower is perhaps the oldest medieval  construction in province of Dauphinée. you must know this incredible tower !"

Name of this tower

  This construction has 3 names in all books :

       1 - Monfollet,

       2 - Montfalet,

       3 - Montfallet........... That is this name i prefer



      On the small parking at the bottom of Laval, i can see the tower on the hill. After 10 minutes of trekking, i am in front of the "marvelous" medieval construction. It is a square tower made with primitive ashlars. I imagine there is a wooden wall walk around.
       It is a good position to built a watchtower.
  On the South, it is possible to see the path thought the Alpine mountain ( A old iron mine is marked on my map).
  On the West, the tower see the big city Grenoble, where the "prince "of Dauphinée (the true name is Dauphin) has lived sometimes.
  On the east side, it possible to spy the old enemies : The Savoy men. And also  look at the river named "Isère" where some boats can be.
    Why is it an old tower ?
1- Because it is a square form.
2- And it has a small arrow-loop.
3- And no battlement or machicolation.

   One side has 3 holes. This on the bottom is not a medieval door. It was created to transform this tower to a cellar. It the moment to see inside


   This tower is not a residence. There are no comfort, no fireplace.

History of castle :
  1. At the 11th century, a place is named: Assemble Folletis.
  2. At the 12th century, a Montfalet family is quoted in a text. 
  3. At the 21st century, the visit is free and free. The risk to receive a stone is weak, but do not forget, it is a ruined tower.


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February 15 2012 4 15 /02 /February /2012 07:30


Description of this castle will be here

Map with castles of Germany is here


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February 12 2012 1 12 /02 /February /2012 07:30


Description of this castle will be here

Map with castles of Germany is here


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February 9 2012 5 09 /02 /February /2012 07:30


Description of this castle will be here

Map with castles of Germany is here


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February 6 2012 2 06 /02 /February /2012 07:30


Description of this castle will be here

Map with castles of Germany is here


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