This medieval castle for sale in southern France dates back to the year 978. The castle was built by the Viscounts of Narbonne to guard a main road – it lies 13 km southwest of Narbonne, and sits on a a rocky knoll 180 m (590 ft) above sea level.
The castle stayed in the hands of the Viscounts until the 16th century, when it was sold to an Italian family and the surrounding land turned into a farm with several houses. During the 18th century, the castle was abandoned and gradually fell into ruin. Classified as a historic building in 1926, the property was sold in 1990 to private owners who have restored it.
The castle occupies the summit of an isolated rock clearly visible from the surrounding area. It consists of two concentric walls, accessible through a ramp paved with pebbles. It then leads into the lists whose northeast corner is occupied by the chapel to remain intact except for the west facade disappeared. One can still distinguish the route of the first wall ending in the south-west by a spur, or advanced thick masonry walls that seem to defend a natural tunnel.
The second wall is dotted with ruins of buildings. In the angle north-east rises a turret with a piece of adjoining curtain is pierced by a window mullion molded to the fifteenth century. The northwest corner, occupied by a twelve-sided tower, housing a vaulted domed, carefully paired stoneware offers still remains visible a battlement pierced for archers embankments. The curtain adjacent stops, giving way to a limestone wall topped with battlements of the same dimensions as the embankments that seem more decorative than effective. Finally, the remains of a turret semicircular are visible in the southwest corner.
A chapel within the castle has been dated to the 10th century, while the main keep and tower were likely built in the late 13th century.
The castle, which is located near the village of Saint-André-de-Roquelongue in the Department of Aude. The local area includes Fontfroide Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1093 by the Viscount of Narbonne. During the 12th century it grew in wealth and was a leading center against the Cathars.
The property, which includes 100 hectares (247 acres) of land, is being sold through Patrice Besse, who specializes in French castles and historic buildings. Besse says about the castle: “Words do not come easily when faced with such things… It is impossible to remain unaffected by the imperious force and the pervasive atmosphere of this haven. Immersing ourselves in the study of monuments which are part of history reveals great feelings, and living a few minutes there where, through the magic and folly of a place, time no longer exists, belong to the indescribable. Also, more than medieval history and famous battle exploits, it is a question of considering here the history of the restoration and, particularly, the feats of reconstitution which achieve a level that we would previously have thought unreachable.”
For more information about the castle, go to the Patrice Besse website.