The Bordeaux region is the sweetest one in France; and not just for the smoothness of their hills, towns taken from a postcard, or the flavour of the grape Cabernet Sauvignon which decorates the wine flavour. But for the imposing Chateaux. That’s to say castles in English. I love them.
Despite the clumsy attempts of the French Revolution to physically and symbolically behead the French aristocracy, some noble families still keep their possessions, and show them with great pride.
Spring is warm, we leave the road, and we got lost in the traditional French countryside. The smell of hay, and field in summer time. On the a hill, I can see an awesome castle. If we are looking for a fairytale castle, Château Roquetaillade is the “one”. Located in Mazéres on the Gironda department it’s almost intact and remains defiant: towers, walls, moat, all we see in a mediaeval movie. Carlomagno built a first fortress, and in 1306 king Edward I erected the new one.
A nice ironic guide, with a big local pride, discovers us the mysteries of the fortress. The owners were waiting inside to show me the interiors of a place where they are still living. It is disturbing; but awesome like Gotham City in Batman. The fantastic rooms were a taken from the wild imagination of the famous architect, Violet le Duc between 1850 and 1870. So much that they seem to be designed for horror movie. The gargoyles, rich carvings, gloomy decorations and gothic pieces of furniture. One of the most disturbing and weirdest castles that I have ever seen.
I was not surprised at all, to know that it had the place choosen to make films like Fantomas. Open to the public in 1956, he is one of the most important and visited castle in France, especially famous for his white wine production called Roquetaillade Chateaufort.
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