Château de Taurines is a 13th-14th century château located in the heart of the small rural village of Taurines, in the commune of Centrès, Aveyron, Occitania (Massif Central, France).

Since 1981, a volunteer association has brought the château back to life, in collaboration with the Compagnons du devoir, who have created masterpieces such as the hollow-core spiral staircase, suspended keystone vault, monumental door, fireplaces…

The association’s volunteers organized a number of cultural events at the château to help finance the work required. This was the impetus behind the first initiatives to promote contemporary art in the Aveyron region. The château has been home to many artists, including Claude Clarbous, Victoria Klotz, Nicolas Primat, Delphine Gigoux-Martin, AURÈLE, Michel Cure, Armand Jalut, Grout/Mazéas, Romain Bernini, Virginie Barré, Damien Deroubaix, Françoise Quardon, Baptiste Debombourg, Stéphane Belzère, Daniel Coulet, Arno Fabre, Marion Le Torrivellec, Jérôme Souillot…

Since 1985, the château has hosted a contemporary art exhibition every summer, becoming a veritable artistic venue by inviting artists to take possession of the site.

Built in the 13th century, the château has a square base, 4 towers, moats and a drawbridge. The spiral staircase dates from this period. The castle has belonged to the Guitard family, lords of Taurines since the end of the 14th century.

In the 16th century, the building was transformed into a Renaissance residence, and in June 1574, the castle, which had been a Protestant stronghold, was besieged, taken and set on fire by the Catholics. In 1612, the Seigneurie de Taurines passed into the hands of the Tubières-Grimoard family, who began restoration work on the château in 1616, installing new machicolations and a parapet wall.

In 1621, further work was carried out on two towers and their machicolations. Thereafter, the lords of Taurines, who were among the highest strata of society, abandoned the castle. This was the beginning of a slow process of abandonment, which accelerated with the partial ruin and looting of the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is said that around 1830, one of the castle’s towers was demolished to build the Taurines church.

From 1952 to 1981, it belonged to several successive owners, including the American opera singer Margueritte d’Husse between 1928 and 1947.

How to get to?

From Paris: 6 hr 52 min (698 km) via A71 and A75

From Toulouse: 1 hr 38 min (132 km) via A68 and N88

From Andorra: 4 hr 2 min (314 km) via A68

From Barcelona: 4 hr 56 min (474 km) via AP-7, A9 and A75

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

Read more: Castles and fortresses of Spain and France with Mathew Kristes ...