The Château d'Arques is a ruined 14th century castle in the commune of Arques in the Aude département of France. It os one of the so-called Cathar castles. The castle consists of an enceinte and a high square keep with four turrets. It was built after Albigensian Crusade of the 13th century on lands given to Pierre de Voisins, one of Simon de Montfort's lieutenants.
The almost square enceinte (51m by 55m) encircles the castle with a gateway furnished with machicolation and surmounted with a keystone bearing the arms of the Voisin famil ("De gueules à trois fusées d'or en fasce, accompagnées en chef d'un lambel à quatre pendant de même"). Numerous buildings must have existed the length of the enceinte. Two well-preserved residential towers remain.
The square keep, 25 m high, is a work of military archtiecture inspired by castles in the Ile de France. It has four levels served by a spiral staircase. The various rooms were constructed with extreme care. The top floor was given over to defence of the castle. Forty soldiers could defend it thanks to numerous murder holes and rectangular bays set symmetrically into the walls.
It is a good example of the progress in military construction in a strategically important region. #castello #castle #Cathar #chateau #donjon #France #medieval #Paris #Spain #stone #tall #tower #wall