Bouzols Castle  

The castle of Bouzols both occupies a very strong and very picturesque situation. Built on the rock, it is placed at the end of an inaccessible promontory to the North and West, attached to the plateau to the Southeast by a strip of land where it had multiplied the obstacles to make the approach to difficult and dangerous attack. Located in the municipality of Arsac-en-Velay, dominates the Loire which is certainly the oldest Castle still today inhabited Valley.

As he looks at the present time, consists of two distinct parts and different age: the primitive Castle or donjon and residential buildings.

The primitive castle date from the XI century. In plan, it has the form of a trapezoid, built in basalt blocks assembled quite thick joints. The walls have three meters thick.

In the Dungeon currently in ruins, yet we note an oven, a cave stores on the North West corner and to the South a very curious tank cut in the rock.

A small Romanesque chapel is located in what is called "the lower - court". This cradle vaulted single nave vaulted building full-coat hanger finished by a flat bedside seems back at the end of the XI century.

For the housing part, certainly about first construction date of XIII century. Several architectural elements attest: the first and most important is the presence of the North West corner tower fully intact. This is the only part of the building which has retained its coating stone, they are assembled into thin seams and some are trademarks of tacherons overturned L or t-shaped.  The oldest reference known to the seigneury goes back in the month of March 1046 when the Bishop of Puy, Etienne De Mercoeur, inféoda Bouzols land to his nephew Ithier.

Among then owners of the Castle and the barony of saint Romain, Polignac, Poitiers, Beaufort Turenne, Armagnac, the Tour D'Auvergne and Montagu Bouzols families.

The fortress was certainly a successful period at the time of the Beaufort family between 1347 and 1427. Antoinette de Beaufort, Jean Le Meingre woman says Boucicaut, Marechal de France died in captivity in England, y lived at the beginning of the 14th century. His niece of Pope Clement VI, former abbot of la Chaise-Dieu quality allowed him probably carry out important restoration work and to develop a small domestic Chapel.

In this period, the fortress had to stand in 1400 a memorable century's Pons de Langeac, Kira du Duc de Berry was opposed to the Beaufort family of some legacies bequeathed to this House by Queen Jeanne wife of Charles v.

During the second half of the 16th century, it was the theatre of many and vigorous confrontation between protestants and Catholics then between royalists and ligueurs. Its position in fact conferred great strategic importance in the defence of the ponote city any acquired the League. Thus Lestrange baron le Puy Governor occupied it it with his troops between 1585 and 1598.

Little by little neglected and abandoned during the 18th century by its owners who lived in the Court, it was sold as well national 21 year V primary, but buyers désistèrent of Anne Paule Dominique de Noailles, wife Montagu (this last was the sister of Madame De Lafayette).

In 1808 he was acquired to the State of ruin by Brive Beaud family installed in the region through many generations.

Restored between 1880 e 1900 by Albert of Brive in accordance with its forms and materials of origin (volcanic stones commune), Bouzols appears today as one of the last survivors military architecture leading knew completely using the soil resources and design a defensive fortress field and above all of an absolutely top strategic point.

Private, kept and maintained by its occupants in order to ensure the maintenance and protection of valuable historical heritage property, Bouzols now lives in close harmony with a dynamic and proud of its treasure village community.

© 2017 mairie arsac en velay