- Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne -

Bruniquel 2

LINKS to other pages in the Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Home Page
2 : Introduction (Hotels etc.)
3 : Albi
4 : Najac
5 : Cordes Sur Ciel
6 : Bruniquel
7 : St Antonin Noble Val
8 : Gaillac Vineyard
9 : Castres
10 : Carcassonne
11 : St Cirq Lapopie
12 : Rocamadour
13 : Sarlat
14 : La Roque Gageac
15 : Cahors
16 : Guest Book:
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AS A RESULT OF of marriages and other inheritance agreements Bruniquel later became the property of the houses of Comminges and Pailhas. In 1461 Viscount Antoine sold a third of the estate including part of the castle to his cousin, Viscount Maffre. In 1484 the eastern part of the castle, by then in a bad state of repair, was also acquired by Viscount Maffre.

During the years 1485 to 1510 Maffre built a new castle (Chateau Jeune) a few metres from the old castle (Chateau Vieux), repaired the outer walls, made a new entrance to the old castle and erected a partition between the old and new buildings. Although the Cathar wars of the 13th century by-passed Bruniquel conflicts between the Protestant viscount of the new castle and the Catholic Viscount of the old castle eventually led to the latter building being partly burnt and destroyed.

The divisions were settled in 1780 when Louis Rigal d'Ouvrier, the then Viscount of Bruniquel bought the other half of the property owned by the rival viscount. The curtain walls around the village and the wall dividing the two castles were pulled down a century later.

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The two castles of Bruniquel situated a hundred metres above the Aveyron river. The 'new' castle is on the left, the old on the right.   (Left and Below)


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"Le Vieux Fusil" ("The Old Rifle"), a film by Robert Enrico and starring Philippe Noiret and Romy Schneider, was filmed at Bruniquel. A room in the chateau has an exhibition of photos taken during the shooting of the film. The action of the film takes place in 1944 and is set in Montauban. The surgeon Julien Dandieu is living a peaceful life there with his wife, Clara, and their daughter, Florence. However, after the German invasion, Julien asks his friend, François, to take Clara and Florence to the countryside 'far away from the torments of the war' and where the family has a castle, a medieval fortress which overlooks a village (Bruniquel). One week later Julien joined his family to discover, to his great alarm, that the Germans had already begun a rule of terror in the village...

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View over the Aveyron river from the new castle. The new castle was built in the last part of the 15th century on the remains of older buildings. Its walls are up to three metres thick.  (Left)

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Looking over Bruniquel village from the new castle. The belfry situated in the main street is visible in the middle ground of the picture.  (Right)

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The valley of the Vère river from the new castle  (Right)
The Aveyron river  (Below)

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The visit to Bruniquel continues on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).


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