Brousse-le-Château

  

Brousse-le-Château is a commune in the Aveyron department in southern France.  It has been honored as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Since Roman times, Brousse le Chateau has had strategic value. Perched in its prominent position the present castle has architectural elements that date back to the 13th Century.

The village of Brousse is positioned on the confluence of the Tarn and the Alrance, with its 12th Century castle perched at the top of the old part of the village.  The castle was built on the rocky outcrop by the Counts of Rouergue and was owned at various times by the Lords of Arpajon and the Armagnac family.

From the road that runs through the newer part of the village, one can park one's car and cross the pretty Roman bridge that crosses t he River Alrance, and climb up the cobbly narrow streets, with the medieval buildings up to the castle. To one side is the church with its fine tower that was fortified in the fifteenth century, built by Jean Arpajon III and his wife Anne de Bourbon Roussillon, dedicated to the apostle St. Jacques Maggiore. Anne de Bourbon was of royal blood. That is why you will see the emblem of Fleur de Lys within the church. In the cemetary there is an oratory that has a beautiful view over the river Tarn. (The area is well known for its trout!)

If you look up at the Castle you will see the Princess Tower.  It is here in 1344 that Princess Hélène de Castelnau lived. She came from a noble family as her grandfather was Olivier de Penne – a fierce opponent of Simon de Montfort during the crusade against the Albigensians.
Jean d’Arpajon, who was in "love" with her, took her from her family, and forced her to live with him in the castle. He married her. Meanwhile her family took the matter to Philippe VI , who was at the time at war with Edward III of England (Hundred Years War). In 1347 Géraud de la Barthe, the King's captain, laid seige to the castle, but was initially unsuccessful, and pretended to leave, hiding in the woods that surrounded the castle. In the evening when the soldiers at the castle had lessened their guard, plucky Geraud, climbed the castle walls, and managed to get Helen away, and return her to her

family. Its probable that at that time that the castle was burned, as later Jean complained to the government.

View of the lit chateau at night

Château de Saint-Izaire

The Château de Saint-Izaire is a 14th century episcopal castle in the commune of Saint-Izaire in the Aveyron département of France. Since 1991 it has been classified as a historical monument (French: monument historique). It is maintained by an association known as Vie et Château (Life and Castle), who have created a mini museum on the premises to record the history of the castle and the inhabitants of the village of Saint-Izaire.
The Château de Saint-Izaire is one of a group of 23 castles in Aveyron who have joined together to provide a tourist itinerary as the Route des Seigneurs du Rouergue

   

The castle is a massive quadrangular red stone building that shelters the town hall of the village of Saint-Izaire. The structure is supported by a keep-tower in the southern wing (partially demolished since the 19th century). This keep contains mural frescoes dating from the 14th century, and the ceiling in the room of the bishops in the Baroque style of the 17th century.
The castle was built by Guillaume Rotlindes, ancestor of the current Rollinde de Beaumont. It was intended as a gift to the Abbey of Vabres, close to the commune of Saint-Affrique: the deed attesting the gift is preserved to the present day. The castle was often used as a summer residence by the abbey. When the cathedral and palace of Vabres were razed in the wars of religion, the castle was used by refugees from the abbey.

St Affrique

  

The Old Bridge and Church du Centenaire                    Saturday morning market at St Affrique

History

Saint-Affrique was named after the Bishop of Comminges, Affricanus, who was persecuted by the Visigoths and found refuge here in this "vicaria curiensis" in about 495. From 1320, the town jointly belonged to the King of France, the Bishop of Vabres and the Comte de Caylus.

In 1628, it successfully withstood the siege by the army of the Prince de Condé. However, Richelieu ordered its fortifications to be destroyed in 1632. Indeed, Saint –Affrique, like Millau, was one of the rare bastions of the Protestant faith during the Reformation. At that time, there was a wave of violence by religious fanatics in the countryside surrounding Saint Affrique, and Louis XIII dismantled the town as a reprisal. During the 19th century, the economy of the town of Saint-Affrique was mainly comprised of spinning factories, for sheep’s wool, cotton and hemp.

Other painful episodes in the history of Saint Affrique include an outbreak of cholera in 1854. The inhabitants prayed to the Virgin Mary to deliver them from the illness, and they hollowed out recesses in the walls of their homes where they placed votive statuettes of the Virgin. There are about 60 of these recesses still remaining, two-thirds of which still have the original statuette.

Geography

The Sorgues, a tributary of the Dourdou de Camarès, flows through the commune and crosses the town. The Dourdou de Camarès flows northwestward through the western part of the commune and forms part of its northwestern border.  Current population is approximately 8000.

Sights

An old bridge over the Sorgue and some megaliths in the neighborhood, especially, the dolmen of Tiergues, are of antiquarian interest.

Personalities

Saint-Affrique was the birthplace of :

  • Pierre-Auguste Sarrus (1813–1876), musician and inventor
  • Émile Borel (1871–1956), mathematician and politician.
  • Stephane Diagana,athlete

Château de Coupiac

Château de Coupiac

The Château de Coupiac is a castle in the French commune of Coupiac in the département of Aveyron.
Dating from the 15th century, the castle is formed by two T-shaped wings, built directly on the bare rock, flanked by three powerful round towers. These remaining towers show architectural differences, evidence of building over an extended period. Built in the flamboyant Gothic architecture, the castle impresses both in area and height, by the number of its machicolations, its latrines and its murder holes. It includes beautiful windows and the towers and large windows on the second floor.

Since 1928, the castle has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Coupiac is one of a group of 23 castles in Aveyron who have joined together to provide a tourist itinerary as La Route des Seigneurs du Rouergue. The castle is open to visitors in July and August.

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