History & Heritage > the upper town

The castle

Around 1180, the men of the Count of Toulouse built a wooden tower strengthened by palissages, on the top of the hill, in order to impose the image of the Count’s lay power. This was pulled down on the bishop’s order and replaced in 1193-1195 by a stone keep (turris). Later, two buildings were added. The whole was modified along the centuries. Nowadays, the castle appears as a vast parallelogram of 22m. on 19 m. with buildings on three sides of a courtyard limited on the south side by a bluff 22 m. deep. On the other sides, moats dug into the rock completed the defensive system. On the eastern side stood a double bartizan with loopholes (XVIth century).

The keep has a ground floor, a mezzanine floor and a first floor. The central wing includes three rooms on the ground floor (one of them a water tank) and a large hall on the first floor ; on the second floor, a platform is accessible thanks to a covered way. The western wing includes two rooms on the ground floor, one on the first floor. Under the buildings are the dungeons and bottle-dungeons, the water tank and, in the middle of the courtyard, a very deep well.