An astonishing 12th-century château, perched on a 120-metre-high peak that follows the exact contours of the rock carved out by the Aveyron river.
Penne lies in the northern part of the Grésigne forest, an hour north of Toulouse.
Its exceptional location has enabled it to play a key role in the history of the Quercy region.
A little history...
During the Albigensian Crusade, it was the focus of bloody wars between the lord of Penne, who rallied to the Cathar heresy, and the followers of Simon IV de Montfort.
Later, during the Hundred Years' War, the fortress was taken in turn by the English and the Routiers.
In 1243, a new treaty claimed Penne from Raymond VII.
But Olivier and Bernard de Penne would not bow to power.
They finally submitted to Alphonse de Poitiers, now Count of Toulouse, who confirmed the privileges of the inhabitants of Penne.
He had the castle refurbished and his county archives moved.
In 1271, on his death, Penne became part of the Crown domain.
In 1365, a Gascon captain named Mongat, acting on behalf of the English, took Penne.
In 1374, Penne was retaken by the French.
In 1384, the English retook the village and held it until 1451.
The castle was dismantled in 1586 and left abandoned for 420 years, until it was acquired in 2006 by an architect, Axel Letellier.
Since 2006, a restoration program has been underway at the initiative of Letellier and his family, with support from the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council and the Tarn General Council.
The château reopened to the public in June 2010.
It was listed as a historic monument in 1902.
There are 6 churches to visit in Penne, including the church of Saint-Catherine, whose building and belfry were listed as a Monument Historique in 1954.
Also worth seeing are a number of prehistoric megaliths, including at least 1 menhir, 1 cist, 1 alignment and nearly a dozen dolmens.