Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Château d'Arques

Trip to Aude: Day 3 (Evening)
It was getting on to dusk and we were hurrying off to our last stop for the day, the mysterious Rennes la Château, where we intended to stay the night. When, in the distance, this edifice arose before us.

I checked the map. This was Château d'Arques. It was one of the châteaus we were planning to skip. Hey, there are so many of them in this neighborhood, you have to pick and choose. But as we came closer, it looked so captivating, we decided it wouldn't hurt to stop briefly and give it a once over.
Château d'Arques is a bonafide Cathar castle. Not one of the important ones, but it had its own small role in Cathar history. It was built in the late 13th/ early 14th Century by Gilles de Voisins for defending the Rialsès valley, and abandoned in the 16th century after attacks by protestants.
Blandine and I totally fell in love with it. It is exactly the sort of edifice you picture in your infantile head when you read stories of kings and queens and castles.

As we drove off, we noticed a pasture next to the castle, with rusting agricultural machinery posed upon it. Apparently, a local farmer likes to put his disused farming equipment on display. He has posted a large signboard which reads 'Safari Agricole' -- Agricultural Safari. Clearly someone with a sense of humor.

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