Chateau de Lagarde

The Chateau de Lagarde is a ruined castle situated near the village of Lagarde, 8 km (5 miles) southeast of Mirepoix in the French departement of Ariege. The Chateau de Lagarde is an imposing medieval building constructed in the 11th century with the first square tower (1063/1065) by Ramiro I, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona.

Between the 1176 and 1180 the chateau developed with 4 square towers and with a rectangular entry with a door made out of wood, a drawbridge and ditch at the foot of the walls. Following the Albigensian Crusade, the castle was handed to the Levis-Mirepoix family. It was fortified but, over time, it was modified to provide a more comfortable residence.

The Chateau before it fell into ruin.

In the middle of the beautiful paved yard is a well which is 62 meters depth and 2 meters in diameter cut with stone 1.20 metres thick. Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester allotted the village of Lagarde and its castle to Guy I of Levis, lieutenant of his army, in 1212. This was conducted after Simon de Montfort convened at Pamiers in a general meeting of nobles, prelates and noted middle-class men, where they drew up a 46 article administration doctrine of the place.

It was ratified by the Treaty of Paris and signed on 12 April 1229 on the square of Notre-Dame. During the French Revolution, the castle was partially destroyed, but it remains today as a bold silhouette looking down over the valley. The ruins comprise several towers and curtain walls. Chateau de Lagarde has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1914.