France | The majestic position of Najac Castle in Aveyron

Can you imagine a castle on top of a rocky hill surrounded by a bend of a river and that by walking you also get to visit a town that spans a single street that leads to the fortress? That’s the Najac Castle, one of the prettiest villages in France you can see in the Aveyron department in southern France. I have discovered this wonderful corner of incredible beauty during my last trip to France, in particular, to the region of Midi Pyrenees.

Najac Castle from afar

Najac Castle from afar

Najac Castle side

Najac Castle side

The great charm of Najac where only less than a hundred inhabitants reside is in the link landscape that makes the curious alignment of the houses of this medieval village with the castle in the background image at the top of the hill. Moreover, the beautiful views of the people that you see from the tower of the castle make this fantastic. We advance that your visit will be pleasant at Najac for its unique street toward the castle on a slope that increasingly becomes more pronounced up to the doorstep. Actually you will find the ruins of a fortress that was built in two different periods. In the year 1100 was raised a square tower first and then in 1263 was completed the construction of a round tower that is 40 meters high which is what is in a better state and whose terrace you can visit.

Najac Castle on the hill of Aveyron

Najac Castle on the hill of Aveyron

Najac Castle turbulence

Najac Castle turbulence

Its location on top of a rocky crag to the Royal Castle Najac became an impregnable fortress. In this regard surely during your visit you’ll notice the enormous depth of the loopholes and embrasures reaching almost seven meters which is unique in the world. Your visit will take you to Najac Castle’s first central courtyard. Through a door in the north wall you can see the access to a dungeon. Then you will head to the great circular tower whose walls have a thickness of 2.40 meters. As you climb to the top of the tower by a narrow spiral staircase you’ll pass through different levels where you will see the aforementioned pockets. First pass through the room known as the Chapel of St. Julian, then by a very narrow corridor you can access the oldest of the towers remodeled, the square which was the Governor’s House.

Misty Najac Castle

Misty Najac Castle

Najac Castle Aveyron

Najac Castle Aveyron

Finally after returning to the circular tower go up the total of 119 steps of the spiral staircase and you will come to the terrace where you can enjoy the incredible panoramic views of the medieval village of Najac. You’ll also see a small bell with a 1596 campaign. The castle was sold in 1793 as private property and its walls were used as a stone quarry for nine years until a landslide that killed three workers and suspended its dismantling. Today the castle is owned by the Lord Najac Montaliver who reached fame after World War II by hiding in an abbey the paintings of the Louvre including the Mona Lisa. You can visit the castle from April to October. Visiting hours to Najac Castle in summer are every day from 10.30 to 19 hours. In other months it is closed between 13 and 15 hours.

Najac Castle photos: Rens Kokke, soulofarobot, photosbygar, Nancy McCarthy, podiceps.

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Categories: Art Travel, Extra Travel, What to See, Where and When

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