Chateau de Laroque visitor guide

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The Chateau de Laroque is a castle on a small hill overlooking the village of Laroquebrou, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southern France.

Explore the Chateau de Laroque

France This Way review: the castle of Laroque is a small but imposing castle with lovely views across the village of Laroquebrou, and you will certainly want to walk up the hill to see the castle and views when you visit the village

There has been a castle in this approximate location since the 12th century or earlier (it is thought possible that a first castle was built by Bérulph in 981, although records only refer to a castle from the end of the 12th century.

Fortified tower in the castle of Laroque

The original castle is thought to have been on the rocky spike (and a platform built around the spike) where you can now see a statue of the Virgin, also at the top of the hill near the current castle.

The tower of this earlier castle lasted until the 17th century, when the top half was knocked down, and the lower part was demolished at the end of the 19th century to make way for the statue - the statue was inspired by the chapel that originally occupied the lower part of this tower.

Still surrounded by its original fortified walls, the current chateau de Laroque has its origins in the 13th century, although it owes most of its current appearance to later modifications that continued until the 16th century, including the addition of most of the openings for the windows.

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The castle today retains a large rectangular castle keep with two round towers, a separate shorter tower close to the castle and the ruin of a fourth tower. The castle originally had seven towers. The part of the castle that remains has been renovated and is in very good condition.

The area around the castle and enclosed by the fortified walls is now grass, and you can enjoy very impressive views from here, across the village of Laroquebrou, along the Brou river and towards the hills of the Cantal region.

Inside the chateau de Laroque there is not a great deal to see except a few large empty halls but a part of the building is used for an art exhibition, with an entrance charge of about three euros.

You can climb up the stairs to the base of the statue of the Virgin, placed here in 1887, for more impressive views across the village although the stairs to reach the statue are quite steep and each step is quite high so will be a challenge for visitors with limted mobility - or those trying to control small children!

View across the river and village from the Chateau de Laroque

Attractions nearby

Of course, the principle attraction here is the small but picturesque village of Laroquebrou. In complete contrast to the Chateau de Laroque, close to here you can visit the Tours de Merle, an ancient castle in the forest now in ruins but in a picturesque location.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Cantal guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also: 

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Map of Chateau de Laroque and places nearby

 
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Visit near Chateau de Laroque with France This Way reviews

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The French version of this page is at Chateau de Laroque (Francais)

 
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