The castle of Castelbou, in Lozère was first mentioned in the 12th century when it belonged to Etienne de Castelbouc, vassal of Elie de Montbrun, Commander of the Templars of Larzac.
It was destroyed in 1592, probably by order of the Gévaudan States, so that it would not serve as a refuge for Protestants during the wars of religion.
In the meantime, it gave birth to a legend that reads as follows.
In the 13th century, when practically all the males in Lozere had gone to the Crusades, Raymond de Castelbouc refused him, claiming that he was more troubadour than warrior.
He then made the happiness of the neglected feminine gentleman, the castle becoming the place of "pilgrimage" of these ladies in search of love.
He was so generous in his work that he died of exhaustion.
The village priest refused to bless this sinner and his ashes were unceremoniously buried.
The next day, some women, no doubt upset by the grief, saw a strange, hairy, horned animal fly behind the rock and mistake it for a goat.
The legend was born.
To this day, it is still whispered that a goat flies while circling around the ruined castle, which has become Castelbouc Castle.
The Association Protection and Safeguarding of the Castelbouc Site is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2013.
A few important dates:
- mid-1940s: the families living in Castelbouc gradually abandoned it to build on the other side of the Tarn where the State had just installed electricity.
- 1971: death of the last inhabitant within the walls. The village sinks into oblivion and falls into ruins.
Only a few families maintain the family patrimony and come for holidays.
A group of friends, some of whom are descendants of the families - but also others whose founders fall in love with these old stones and decide - by the strength of their arms and their will - to restore Castelbouc.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator