Chateau de Murat

The chateau fort dates to the XIth and XIIth century.  The ruin is built on a small hill near the village and on the edge of the river called the Murat. Some modern facilities have a little encroachment on the castle on the river side, but no construction of the 20th century seems to have disfigured it.

Of course, forgotten by man for 5 centuries, the site is overrun with trees that have reconquered their territory. But it is possible to make the plan of this old fort. Its shape is really not traditional, and the reason is simple: the outer curtain marries the edges of the plateau itself.  

In 1204, Guillaume de Murat is quoted in a donation text. In the 13th century, the castle’s defenses are improved as it is bordered with Aquitaine where troubles occur. In 1272, Beatrice de Bourgogne, Dame de Bourbon, married Robert I de France, Comte de Clermont. It is the 6th son of King Louis IX. Although this act is not directly related to the castle, it is the trigger to make Murat an important place. In 1310, Louis I, eldest son, marries Marie de Hainaut. That same year, his mother Beatrice de Bourgogne died in the castle.  1317, on the death of Robert Ist, his son Louis Ist Comte de Clermont de la Marche and Castres became the new lord.

In 1327, Louis I became the first Duke of Bourbon.  In 1342, Louis I died. His son Louis II is the new Duke of Bourbon. With the war of 100 years, and the attacks of the English, he decided to fortify several castles including Murat. He is the author of this imposing tower which now bears his name. Around 1343, the Ducal Castle, by its size, the length of the walls and the power of its tower, imposes the respect of potential assailants. But it is not just a fortress, its habitat is very comfortable for the time. in 1354, Marie de Hainaut died in the castle.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Bourbonnais is a very powerful province. Charles III was the 8th Duke of Bourbon, but also count of Montpensier, Count of Forez, Count of Clermont, Comte de Mercoeur, Duc d’Auvergne….. Although a vassal of the king of France Louis XII, the Bourbonnais had its own institutions. This power creates jealousies that will cause Murat’s downfall.  In 1521, the wife of Charles III (whom he had married in 1505) died without having given an heir. (His 2 children died very young). The mother of François I claimed the Bourbonnais as the granddaughter of Charles I of Bourbon. During these six years, Charles III, rebels and enters the war against the Kingdom of France alongside the Italians. 
In 1527, Charles III died at the siege of Rome. As a consequence, the Bourbonnais is attached to the kingdom of France. Shortly after Francis I had several castles demolished in the region, including Murat’s; (Many think that it is a “vengeance” and a “punishment” against the lineage of the “too powerful” Dukes of Bourbon).  In 1569, a report requested by King Charles IX reported the abandonment of the castle, and the ruins that comprised it. In 1792, the revolutionaries burned the archives of the commune.


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