Castle history


 Roquetaillade is a natural defensive site, with its roots going back to prehistory. The name Roquetaillade means " carved out of rock " and indeed the grottoes beneath the site were home to troglodyte man. In case of attack they took refuge on the motte. The first earth and timber fortifications were certainly constructed by Charlemagne as he advanced towards the Pyrenees, and then over the years they were replaced by stone fortifications and the old castle come into existence ( 11 th century ). It continued to be extended up until early 14 th century.

In 1306 Cardinal de la Motte received permission from King Edward 1st of England to build a new castle. For this, we must thank his uncle, Pope Clement V. first French pope in Avignon. Clement V's political power was vast and extended as a far as Oxford. What we see today is a unique example of feudal architecture, that is to say two fortresses within the same castle walls. Roquetaillade has been home of the same family since its origins.

  The first major restoration was in the 17 th century. Many Renaissance features were added on the first floor, windows were opened and monumental chimney pieces were created ( 1635-illustrated )


Chimney Renaissance, Synodale-room


Pink room, Interior created by Viollet le Duc
 The second restoration is 19 th century and is the work of the famous french architect Viollet le Duc ( Carcassone, Notre-Dame in Paris, Pierrefonds, ... ) His unique interior decorations and furniture created in Roquetaillade are now listed "Monument Historique"



Roquetaillade, before restoration ( engraving by Léo Drouyn -1846 )

Roquetaillade, today


Eugène Viollet le Duc, 1860