Aguilar Castle, a royal fortress

Château d'Aguilar stands in Cathar country, in a landscape of fragrant garrigue contrasting with the orderly appearance of the Haut Fitou vineyards.
Resting on the rock like a crown, it overlooks the plain of Tuchan.
The name "Aguilar" comes from the Latin "aquila", meaning eagle.
Puy d'Aguilar was first mentioned in 1020, in the will of Bernard Taillefer Count of Besalù, great-grandson of Wilfred le Velu, who bequeathed it to his eldest son Guilhem.
Later, it became Château d'Aguilar, belonging to the Lords of Termes, vassals of the Trencavel family.

After the crusade against the Albigensians, the castle belonged to the King of France, who restored it to Olivier de Termes in 1250, as a reward for his brilliant actions in the Holy Land.
With the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258, Aguilar became an advanced position on the new border with Aragon.
In 1260, Louis IX, King of France, purchased the Château d'Aguilar, which became a royal fortress, one of the five sons of the Cité de Carcassonne.
In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees pushed the border back to the crest of the Pyrenees.

With the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, Aguilar lost all defensive interest and was gradually abandoned.
In 1949, the château was classified as a historic monument. Since then, several restoration, safety and enhancement campaigns have been carried out. A campaign to clear the lices has been underway since 2016, revealing the face of Aguilar every year.

 

After visiting the château...

The village of Tuchan is well worth a visit, with its fort, its church, the Place aux ânes (donkey square), the former heart of the town in the Middle Ages, where a large agricultural fair was held every year until 1930, and the old oil mill, the remains of which can be seen in the Barricade district.

Tuchan is also home to the Mont Tauch producers' cellar, where you can discover Fitou wines.

Mont Tauch, which rises to an altitude of 917 meters, is also accessible from Tuchan, either on foot for the more courageous, or by car along the small Faste road. From the village, a footpath leads to the heights where the GR 36A meets the Tour des Géographes.

Also worth seeing is the Chapelle Notre Dame de Faste, dedicated to the sailors who, lost in the storm, saw a light on the side of Mont Tauch and were guided to port.

This light was the light of the chapel still visible today.

The legend of "Faste", evoking good fortune, gave its name to the chapel and to the Virgin and Child in the village parish church. A picnic area is located next to the chapel.

Go to the château reception desk, where you'll be given a tour guide with your entrance ticket. You can also download the "Pays Cathare, LeGuide" application and follow the augmented tour.

Younger visitors can have fun exploring the site with the "Castrum, le jeu" app.

 

Château d'Aguilar
11350 Tuchan
Tel. (town hall): 04 68 45 51 00


communedetuchan@wanadoo.fr


www.payscathare.org

 

Translated with DeepL.com

(free version)

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