Forteresse de Bellegarde
Bellegarde Fortress is located on a 420m-high cliff.
This powerful fortress was built between 1688 and 1679 by the architect Vauban on the site of a Spanish fortress. It protected the strategically important Pyrenees mountain pass between France and Spain. The entrance is above a drawbridge and adjacent ramp that leads to the courtyard.
In the basement of the Bastion St André is a 62m-deep well, carved in stone and with a diameter of about 6m. Even today it still supplies Fortress inhabitants with water, assisted by an electric pump.
The fortress overlooks the small town of Le Perthus. In its south wing is an additional, smaller fortress.
The large terrace offers a wonderful panoramic view over the Spanish town of La Jonquera to the South and Canigou to the French North.
The Fortress is open daily to visitors from 10:30 to 18:30h from May to September. Brief tours take place, explaining the military history and architecture of the fortress.
Copyright © 2004 Ingo Schreiber. Home Up Back Castles of Cathars Canal du Midi Travel reports Castles of the Loire Contact