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Architecture

The medieval fortress, primarily built for defensive purposes, was located at the top of a steep, wooded outcrop. It marks the centre of "Upper Châlucet". "Lower Châlucet" was comprised of the "Tower of Jeanette", a square keep from the 12th century, along with the ruins of the main building which surrounded it.

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The Tower of Jeannette, Lower Châlucet’s keep
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The remains of one of Lower Châlucet’s tower houses
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A busy town surrounded the Tower of Jeannette
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The keep on the outcrop
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Upper Châlucet became a luxury residence
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Lower Châlucet

The Tower of Jeannetteoverlooks the town from a height of at least 23 metres. Built in the late 12th to early 13th centuries, it was designed to assert the local lord’s power. Entry was by means of a single gate of 5 m in height, while inside there was no comfort, no latrines, no fireplace and a ladder provided access to the different floors. The dungeon was used for storage.

The tower was surrounded by a busy town. Traces of this were uncovered thanks to a series of excavations. We find a chapel to the south, rectangular buildings of at least one storey and tower houses of at least 10 metres in height. Unlike the Tower of Jeannette, these were inhabitable and had ground-level doors, latrines and wide picture windows, etc.
4 cellars have been discovered, cut into the rock. They were used for storage, possibly of wine (grape seeds have been found during the excavations) or for the preservation of food.

High Châlucet

Before Gérauld de Maulmont, the high castle to the south was comprised of only a keep built around 1200 and some ancillary buildings.
After Gérauld de Maulmont, in 1289 the high castle became a well defended luxury residence.

Behind its barbican, we find the ceremonial facade with its high decorative crenellations and the modern machicolations of an impressive castle. The keep on the rocky outcrop, the remains of the first castle (with the former manor house), the corner towers and especially the powerful curtain wall to the south with its archery slits, its impressive thickness and its double ditch, made this castle an impregnable fortress. For added security, a low outer wall was also built. It overlooks a landscape which back then was largely deforested and was farmed by Châlucet’s inhabitants.