Region: Pyrénées Orientales (Eastern Pyrenean Mountains)
Other names: Château de Fitou, Château Féodal de Fitou (Feudal Castle of Fitou)
Fitou castle is a small, stone castle high on the hill above the village of Fitou, known in Europe for his wine. The village itself has dramatically changed last years, as the wines from the Fitou appellation got a better name, and more and more people from the North of France and even Germany, Switzerland or England, bought the houses in the region known for its beauty, closeness to the Mediterranean Sea and a nice climate. Several tiny town houses in Fitou have been nicely restored. You may see them walking through the village up to the castle. The castle’s museum, a slightly home made, may be attractive to visit by small children. They should not look only too close at the torture instruments. Still, they might like everyday court scenes and the alchemist’s workshop.
History: A stone castle from early Middle Ages, probably from the 10th century. Mentioned for the first time it the testament of the Viscountess Adelaïde of Narbonne. Later in the property of the Perignan family. After the fall of the Cathars schism in the 13th century, Sir of Niort, a Cathar by religion, converted to Catholicism and established himself at the Fitou castle. Taken by the Catalan Kingdom of Aragon in the war of 1635, the castle remained in Spanish territory until the French Revolution of 1789. Burnt and robbed in 1843, remained just a ruin on a hill above the Fitou village until the modern times. Since 1974, again in private hands, slowly restored, the Fitou castle first served as a restaurant and the nightclub, now is a museum.
The feel: The Fitou castle is built from a local stone. The donjon raises high above the area. The castle is being ambitiously restored, with very small means.
Today: A French National Monument, usually called Le Chateau Féodal de Fitou, the Fitou castle is now a museum trying to show the scenes from the court life in the life Middle Ages, ancient arms, as well as mediaeval torture instruments. Descriptions are in French, English, German, and Catalan. The castle of Fitou is now offered for sale.
Opening hours: All days of the week, but the times may vary, depending on the month of the year. March: 11.00-17.30, April an May: 10-18 June 10-18.30, July and August 10-20 September 10-19 October 10-12 14 -18 November 10-12 14-17.30 December, January, February: open only in the weekends and during the French school holidays 10-12 14-17.30 14.00-17.00. Closed: January 1, May 1, November 1 and 11. Telephone: (+33) 04 68 45 65 92
How to get there: By car – ca. 30 km from Perpignan by RN 9 direction Narbonne; on the Fitou village lights turn left onto D 50 and ride 3km uphill into the village. You will see the castle on your right. From Leucate by RN direction Perpignan, 14km; by freeway A 9 from Narbonne, accessible from exit 40 ( Échangeur de Leucate) and the N9 direction Perpignan, the castle is on the western side of the freeway.
Facilities: Parking accessible for the tourist busses.
Fitou castle pictures
Nearby cities: Leucate, Narbonne, Perpignan
Nearby castles: Salses
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