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Castle of Cazeneuve

Description of the castle

The whole of constructions and the earthworks of the castle is extremely vast since it extends on 230 meters length and 135 meters broad. Built on Gallo-Roman foundations, one distinguishes four principal parts.

1 - The Mound

In north, where it was built in XIe century "the primarily made primitive ground and wood castle". It was built on a rock headland in the form of ten height meters very abrupt cone. Leaned with the confluence of two rivers, Homburens and Ciron, only from the strings from three to four meters of width separated some. A cut, visible in the low court, isolated the fortress from the remainder of the plate. Such is the origin of Cazeneuve. Two century later, it will become the keep of a castle much vaster.

Nowadays, on this site, some rare cut stone sides remain the only vestiges of this building.

2 - The castle

With the paddle of XIVe century, Amanieu VII of Albret decided to build, coupled with the primitive castle, significant an castle-enclosure. Enclosing a vast interior court, it marries the shape of an irregular polygon, similar to the current plan.

Always delimited by the course of Ciron and Homburens, the medieval fortress is extended to the south towards the plate from which it is separated by dry ditches. A drawbridge separates it from the first enclosure.

The current castle is built with the whole beginning of XIVe century, by Amanieu VII of Albret, it is Raymond de Vicose in the years 1600-1610 who undertakes his restoration because it was said it "uninhabited and uninhabitable" because of devastations of the war.

The architectural juxtaposition of these two times confers on the unit a specificity and an aspect with no one another similar. Austere and defensive medieval elements cohabit harmoniously with ostentation and the gracious pace and more smiling of XVIIe announcing the century close to the Lights.

One penetrates in the enclosure of the castle Thanks to a bridge with two arches spanning the dry ditches. On both sides bridge, a balustrade out of stone ends in two base plates of square pillars which supported formerly the drawbridge.

A large gate whose pilasters Tuscan support a armorié blazon and a broken pediment opens on the main courtyard. The broad passage cut in the thickness of the wall marries a skewed form which made it possible the horse-drawn carriages to arise vis-a-vis the door of principal entry of the home seigneurial. Above, a gallery discovered bordered of stone balusters reduces this old moyenâgeux wall...

3 - The town of Cazeneuve

Forming integral part of the great intention of Amanieu VII, the town of Cazeneuve was a true borough where a whole town life grouillait. It had its own notaries and later Charles II will say being "dominus city and castri casenove".

It extended in front of the castle beyond the ditches and was delimited by an enclosure made up of high crenelated ramparts. The foot of this thick wall, broad ditches not frames ensured an additional defense. The access was done by a drawbridge.

At the interior were constructions and on the left entry, gardens with the Frenchwoman undoubtedly drawn tardily at the XVIIe century. Defenses of this city were strongly damaged by the successive wars. The ditches were definitively embanked in April 1862.

Today still remains the door of entry of the city, in gothic arch known as "triumphal arch" and most of the wall is which is used as support with more recent constructions.

4 - The Weephole

The entry of the town of Cazeneuve was protected by a advanced construction: a powerful weephole called "Turn of Lusignan". The wall also rested on a ground monticule of sixty measuring apparatuses of circuit and surrounded it of ditches. The weephole, first defensive point of avant-garde, served to some extent as "hopper" because it was first of all necessary to penetrate in this court. From there, a first drawbridge bent down to give access in the city. A second kept the entry of the castle. The tower of Lusignan disappears definitively in the years 1880.

Writen by Madam Edith de Sabran-Pontevès but not translated

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