The Castle of King René de Tarascon is considered to be one of the most beautiful medieval castles in France and Europe.
Remarkably preserved, it was built at the beginning of the 15th century, on a 45m high rock, by the Princes of Anjou on the architectural model of the Bastille.
On the death of Charles of Maine, heir of King René, the county of Provence was ceded to Louis XI, King of France. The fortress then lost its strategic interest.
In 1652, the castle was attacked by the "Fronde des Princes", its walls still bearing the impacts of cannon balls.
From the 18th century until 1926, the castle became a state prison, many graffiti found in many rooms of the castle, then transformed into dungeons testify to this period.
The outbuildings now house the apothecary of the former Tarascon hospital, where an exceptional collection of cannon pots, goats and urns can be admired in an 18th century library.
"The seigneurial dwelling has a 4m thick wall, flanked by two round towers to the east and two square towers to the west on the Rhône side. In its centre is the Cour d'Honneur, whose elegant architecture contrasts with the austere facade of the Château. Screwed staircases, one of which is integrated into a projecting turret, serve the three floors of the Château. From the main courtyard you can access the Great Gallery with its rib vault, the Chapel Tower, composed of the lower chapel and the Chantres Chapel, and the Feast Room on the Rhône side. Many rooms have "French-style" ceilings and are adorned with closoirs, painted wooden planks placed obliquely between the joists of the frameworks, decorated with real or imaginary animals, scenes of life, or transgressive scenes. Others have remarkable vaults with crossed ribs".
Classified as a historical monument in 1840, the Château was bought by the State, which will continue its restoration.
It has been the property of the city of Tarascon since January 1st 2008.
The castle of Tarascon puts at your disposal a booklet to help you visit.
Guided tours are also available.
Castle of King René de Tarascon
5 Boulevard du Roi René,
Tel: 04 90 91 01 93
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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