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The Château de Roquefixade is a ruined castle built on a cliff overlooking the village of Roquefixade, situated 8km (5 miles) west of Lavelanet French département of Ariège.

There are records of a castle on the site going back to 1180, though the present ruins are more modern. While marketed in the tourist industry as one of the so-called Cathar castles, the ruins are later than this. Despite this, the site did provide a place of refuge for the Cathars at the time of the Albigensian Crusade.

A natural cleft in the cliff face has been filled in by an arch supported by ramparts. This cleft is the origin of the name of the village, and later the castle: roca fisada (fissured rock) in Catalan. The remains of the castle walls cling to the rock, originally circling an impressive keep built at the highest point of the site.

At the end of the 13th century, Roquefixade became a stronghold at the end of a line of royal fortresses built along the Corbières hills, to keep watch on the territory of the Count of Foix. The keep was remodelled in the 14th century, and other alterations were made in the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle survived until 1632 when the French king Louis XIII rested in the area on his way to Toulouse for the execution of the Henri II, Duke of Montmorency who had risen against Richelieu. Louis took the opportunity to order the destruction of Roquefixade, it now serving no purpose and being costly to maintain.

OLYMPUS E500
ZUIKO 4/3 14-45mm

WatscapePhoto is Steve Watson from
Headingley, Leeds, UK
This image is © Steven F Watson 2011

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Comments

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98about 4 years ago

    Another one eh? They certainly liked to make good use of the natural features for their protection! Just imagine what modern day builders would charge to build a place on top of a rock!!
    Terrific photo and I like the portrait mode for this – it really does add emphasis and drama to the scene.
    Cheers
    Peter

  • Thank you very much, Peter.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • Akkra
    Akkraabout 4 years ago

    Love the format! This is a gorgeous view in it’s own right, but shown like that really makes an impact. :o)

  • Many thanks, Zoe.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • Colin Metcalf
    Colin Metcalfabout 4 years ago

    Stunning presentation Steve, a fave for sure!!

  • Thank you very much, Colin – and for the fave.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • JanT
    JanTabout 4 years ago

    Really admire this composition, Steven!

  • Many thanks, Jan

    – WatscapePhoto

  • David Davies
    David Daviesabout 4 years ago

    Super picture, Steve! How I’d love to get back to that area.

  • Thank you very much, David.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaabout 4 years ago

    Were you on a castle tour?

  • Not exactly but they are all strung out along the eastern Pyrenees so it would have been a shame not to visit them while in the area. Many thanks, Al.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • Shaun Whiteman
    Shaun Whitemanabout 4 years ago

    What a great shot Steve, looks liek a beautiful area!

  • Thank you very much, Saun.

    – WatscapePhoto

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47about 4 years ago

    Nice one Steven.

  • Many thanks, Eeva.

    – WatscapePhoto

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