Viviourès Castle, also known as the Roquette Castle (Château de la Roquette) is located in the department of Herault, in the south of France.
Built on the Hortus mountain, between the villages of Valflaunès and Saint-Martin-de-Londres, 25 km from Montpellier. It faces the Pic Saint-Loup, and is surrounded by a landscape of scrub (garrigue), with its oak and limestone.
The Viviourès Castle once served as a fortress but also a place to live.
The first mention of the castle date back to the 1130s, and speaks of Rouquette Castle, home of the Earl of Melgueil.
In 1224, Guillaume of Pian, knight, from the village of Pia in Roussillon, is the owner of the castle, and wants to rebuild it. We note several complaints against him because it encroaches on the County of Melgueil and dominates the Montferrand Castle (owned by the Bishop of Maguelone).
The castle is mentioned as Château de la Roquette.
In 1459, the Roquette Castle is sold to Antoine de Lautrec. In the sixteenth century, the castle is in ruins, as it’s said in the texts that “there is nothing covered.” In the early seventeenth century, the castle is called “old castle in ruins and uninhabitable for many years”.
In 1749, a new Roquette Castle (Château de la Roquette) is built.
The name of Viviourès Castle comes from a family who occupied a farmhouse next to it until the eighteenth century. This family was called “Bevieures” which comes from the Occitan “bien viure” (a nice place to live).
Built on ridges, the castle is accessible by a path gradually rising along the southern slope of the Hortus.
The body of the castle is in ruins, but you can pretty much imagine what it looked like. This allows to assess the quality of the craftsmanship of the era, which were able to adapt to the constraints of building on these ridges.
Viviourès Castle is to be seen in the great period of construction, upon the acquisition by the Capetian monarchy from the territory of Languedoc, who built many castles and noble royal fortresses.
I hope my photos of the Viviourès Castle (de la Roquette) will please you and help you learn a little more about the history of this place.