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
Paul Martin Remfry