Lavardens Castle is a castle built in the 17th century, on the site of an old medieval fortress established at the highest point in the commune of Lavardens (Gers, Occitania, France).

A castle is attested at this location in 1140. The first known lord, Géraud de l’Isle-Arbéchan, was a vassal of the Count of Fezensac.

The castle then entered the possessions of the Counts of Armagnac, including John I who made it his main residence and gave customs there between 1400 and 1410. His wife Odile de Goth died there. He had his archives deposited there.

The possessions of Jean V of Armagnac fell into the royal domain after the capture of Lectoure by Louis XI and the death of the Count of Armagnac in 1473.

His younger brother, Charles I of Armagnac, tried to keep them, but he was imprisoned for many years in the Bastille and he returned to Lavardens, very weakened, in 1484, after the death of Louis XI.

The castle was stormed by the troops of Charles VIII in 1496. Charles I died the following year in Castelnau-de-Montmiral, in the Albigensian region, where he had taken refuge. The abandoned castle falls into ruin.

The castle has the general shape of a tall parallelepiped, therefore rectangular in plan, onto which another equally rectangular body is grafted, at a slight angle, to the north. Other smaller buildings are also attached to it.

Two square turrets, on the corners of the west facade, today do not exceed the four-sloped roof which covers the entire building. It is this facade which constitutes the first attraction of the castle, each corbelled turret resting on characteristic squinches on the corner buttresses, which represented a rare technical feat at the time.

Their role was not military, but only a role of pleasure, serving as a passage between the three balconies established on arcades on the three faces of the western part, and extending on the south facade by corbels which supported a gallery in drink. The purpose, like the large mullioned windows, was obviously to enjoy the wide view of the valley below.

Today the castle is open for public.

How to get to?

From Paris: 8 hr 6 min (776 km) via A10

From Toulouse: 1 hr 48 min (98.8 km) via N124

From Andorra: 3 hr 59 min (253 km) via D919

From Barcelona: 5 hr 33 min (396 km) via C-16

From Madrid: 8 hr 18 min (676 km) via A-2

From Monaco: 6 hr 47 min (680 km) via A8

From Moscow: 37 hr (3,508 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 19 hr 49 min (1,983 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 30 hr (2,932 km) via E70

From Bern: 9 hr 7 min (938 km) via A9

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 ...