A ruined castle situated near the village of Lagarde, 8 km (5 miles) southeast of Mirepoix in the French departement of Ariege.
The Chateau de Lagarde is an imposing medieval building constructed in the 11th century with the first square tower (1063/1065) by Ramiro I, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona.
Between the 1176 and 1180 the chateau developed with 4 square towers and with a rectangular entry with a door made out of wood, a drawbridge and ditch at the foot of the walls.
Following the Albigensian Crusade, the castle was handed to the Levis-Mirepoix family. It was fortified but, over time, it was modified to provide a more comfortable residence.
In the middle of the beautiful paved yard is a well which is 62 meters depth and 2 meters in diameter cut with stone 1.20 metres thick. Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester allotted the village of Lagarde and its castle to Guy I of Levis, lieutenant of his army, in 1212. This was conducted after Simon de Montfort convened at Pamiers in a general meeting of nobles, prelates and noted middle-class men, where they drew up a 46 article administration doctrine of the place. It was ratified by the Treaty of Paris and signed on 12 April 1229 on the square of Notre-Dame.
During the French Revolution, the castle was partially destroyed, but it remains today as a bold silhouette looking down over the valley. The ruins comprise several towers and curtain walls.
Chateau de Lagarde has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1914.
The beautiful ruins of the Chateau de Lagarde, now surrounded by its village houses, but it never used to be this way, these cards are illustrating ideas maybe dating back as far as 300 years ago and show this chateau very much in a different light.
Today getting close to the entrance is much harder due to vegetation and a narrow drawbridge, how it must of been so different talking the long walk finally reaching this building of architectural beauty.