Padern was first mentioned when King Charles the Simple (d.929) confirmed the land to Lagrasse abbey.  The fortress was first mentioned early the next century.  In 1248 King Louis IX (d.1270) complained to Charbert Barbaira, the military commander of the Fenolhedes since 1242, that he was holding Padern and Molhet castles to the detriment of Lagrasse abbey.  On his return from Crusade in 1254 this was one reason by the king moved against Charbert in Queribus castle.  In the sixteenth century it was rebuilt more as a house than a castle and fell out of use around the time of the Revolution.

Standing on a crag overlooking the Romanesque church and the village below, the heart of the castle is a large rectangular keep with fine quoin work.  This has been heavily remodelled and has large square windows and doors of sixteenth century provenance.   The rubble build contains many red tiles, while the forebuilding still bears traces of a spiral stair.  Surrounding this is a powerful curtain with a beak prow to the south.  Within are many buildings which are heavily ruined.

Why not join me at other French castles?  Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly Sojourns.


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry

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