Date of visit: May 13, 2013, around 2:00 p.m.
The Midi-Pyrenees region has a concentration of really beautiful villages.
Bruniquel, which is less than an hour away from Roserte, and Puycercy and Castelnaud de Montmiral, which we will visit later, are all scattered along the same road, the D964 in Tarn-et-Garonne.
The distance between each of them is about 15 to 20 minutes by car. Of course, you will need a car, but I think it is the best way to visit all of the beautiful villages in France.
Well, we found a good parking space at the entrance of the village, and we parked our car there safely and started sightseeing.
Apparently, there is a medieval castle site here, so we walk slowly and aim for the castle on high ground.
Inside the village, I think it is very well preserved. I think it is very well preserved, but it is not too much, so it makes you feel more medieval.
We passed through the alleyways of the town with such a very historical feel and came to the castle.
There was a charge for the inside. We paid money at the entrance and received an English guide (but a simple leaflet), then started to walk around the castle.
I wasn’t expecting much because it looked pretty dilapidated from the outside, but when I started walking around, I found that there were quite a few things to see and it was really fun.
There are, of course, display rooms like you’d find in a so-called « old European castle.
I thought it might be a medieval castle, but there was also a room displaying what looked like prehistoric remains like this.
This seems to be a cloister built during the Renaissance.
And there is a room where this kind of picture is displayed. It seems that this Bruniquel castle was used as a location for a movie.
I don’t know what movie it is, but I decided to take a picture of it anyway.
Well, I saved the leaflet that I got at the castle, which is unusual for me. I got the English version, so I can barely read it.
I’ll try to give a quick description of the castle and town based on this information.
According to legend, Bruniquel was founded by a Merovingian queen, and since the end of the 9th century, it has been ruled by the Counts of Toulouse, who are very familiar with this blog.
In the 13th century, the area was associated with the Albigensian Crusade, but it seems to have been spared from the war.
The events that followed would be the 15th century. The time was just around the time of the Reformation, but it seems that Bruniquel, was affected by this. But it was not destroyed, but a new castle was built.
Yes, there are actually two castles here, although they are adjacent to each other, so calling them new castles is a bit over the top.
That new castle was built out of the conflict between the old school Catholics and the new school Protestants.
There was indeed a sign saying chateau vieux (old castle).
The newer castle is the first building you enter, or the entrance side, and this is where the reception desk is, but this is where the Protestant side of the emerging power built.
In the end, the Protestants won the battle, and from then on the Protestants ruled the castle.
After that, it was the period of absolute monarchy and the rule by the Bourbon dynasty. By this time, it had been transformed into a stronger fortress, but its importance diminished with time, and after the French Revolution, it seems to have become a mere house of the lord. They tore down the walls that were in the way and built terraces and galleries overlooking the Aveyron River that runs through the base of the castle.
I see, it was around this time that these wonderful views became readily available.
In 1987, the Château de Bruniquel’s historical value was reaffirmed and it was decided to carry out a full-scale restoration with the help of the Tarn-et-Garonne department.
The flyer said roughly this.
When I first went in, I didn’t expect much because it looked like an abandoned building, but there was more to see than I expected and the scenery was nice, so I enjoyed it.
And by the time we arrived, the weather, which had been cloudy, had changed to clear skies before we knew it.
We return to the car again, taking pictures in the clear weather.
At the end, we had a photo contest from outside the village.
Yeah great weather! The next village looks promising too.