#27 & 137
Château de Roquetaillade
Gironde (Aquitaine), France
This is NOT an official Lego site
Château de Roquetaillade ["carved out of rock"]
consists of a 24 hectare enclosure containing two
impressive and powerful stone castles. The earlier (not
shown) was initially built as a timber motte and bailey
castle in the 10th century by Charlemagne as his army
advanced toward the Pyrenees. The "old castle"
was gradually converted to stone - beginning in the 11th
century and continuing to be refined through the 13th
century. No more than a stones throw away is the 'new'
castle, begun in 1306 by Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe,
the wealthy nephew of Pope Clement V, and shown in all
the photos. It is the only fortress in France approved by
the English king Edward I. The castle has been inhabited
by the same family for 700 years, through five changes in
name however, as the originally bleak fortress, pierced
almost exclusively by arrowslits alone, tended to be
passed on to cadet members of the family, often daughters.
powerful fortress underwent it's first major renovation
in the 17th century. The first story arrowslits were
replaced by Renaissance windows, with the battlements
rendered more elegant yet still functional, and wonderful
interior fireplace/chimney pieces and other monuments
created. The family fared well, despite the terrors of
the French Revolution, and in 1864 owner Louis le Blanc
commissioned famed architect Eugene Viollet le Duc to
redecorate the castle to make it even more livable. The
magnificent staircase, gorgeous bedrooms and other
changes should not be missed. The current owner, the
Vicomte Sébastien de Baritault du Carpia, his vivacious
wife Rosalind, and their family, actively maintain and
promote not only their castle, but also their vintage
wines and other interests - as they should: owning what
is inquestionably the most famous medieval castle in the
southwest of France.
of the Lego Model
under construction in December 2012
morning of December 3
the castle is laid out. She will double
the size of the 1989 model.
first day progresses the bases
of the six towers begin to take shape
in the deep dry moat.
of the 'new' entrance on
the northeast face can also be seen.
December 4 the castle is
complete up to ground level
entrances are sporting their
drawbridge and the courtyard is
|By the end
of the fourth building
day, much of the ground floor...
complete, including the arrowslits
that pierce the walls and towers.
view of the courtyard at
the end of December 6, featuring
currently waiting for 100 1x3 tiles
to complete the arrowslits, so work on
day 5 & 6 have concentrated on...
century windows that
adorn three sides of the first floor...
work on the courtyard
including the interior 17th century
windows and the bell in the corner.
December 13, 10 days into
construction, towers rise and
decorative battlements appear!
December 14 is spent working
on the roofs, since I've again (!) run out
of pieces for arrowslits.
other hand, the roofing is going
very well - woe to me as I get to the
other side of the castle, however!
December 18 one of the
six towers is complete...
|As are the
battlements on all
sides of the castle. And it's time
for Christmas in Minnesota!
of the Lego Model
built in December 2012
The château was built with 24,347 Lego pieces (including more than 20,000 light gray Lego pieces). 835 red plates were used for the
roof, plus 208 2x2x10 & 2x16x2 griders for interior support. You may inquire about other numbers if you wish.
return from Minnesota
work resumes on the castle...
is happily completed
on my 70th birthday,
January 1, 2013
downside is that the
donjon is so tall that photo-
graphing the castle is a problem
|due to the
detail of the original
entrance to Roquetaillade,
looking much as it did 700
entrance features a lighted
passage to the old donjon
entrance. [See below]
|I love the
yet effective battlements!
courtyard is small
but efficient with its well...
features the bell and
|The top of
the donjon is ringed
with embattled parapets and
the stair turret.
the lighted view into
the new entrance tower
showing the arched doorway
into the courtyard and the
steps into the donjon.
built many castles-and
studied many hundreds more,
but never have I encountered
the chop & drop drawbridges
found at this special castle!
Other Roquetaillade pages (The first is the official website. It includes several excellent guided tours on YouTube
by members of the family):
Return to the
Castles created by
Page designed & maintained by Robert Carney