Forteresse de Largoet (Elven Towers)

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This is reached off the main road to Elven. There is parking by the gatehouse. This is a splendid structure with carvings of rabbits on the roof. Each is different and all have character. There is no entry to the gatehouse.

The castle ruins are 10-15 minutes walk along a forest track. We hadn’t realised this dropped gently until we started to walk back. There are tracks off but these are private.

Rounding a bend, the fortress comes into view, with the remains of the gateway, massive donjon tower and smaller tower with a pointed roof and lake beyond. It is a pretty setting among the trees and surrounded by grass. The fortress was constructed in stages from the 13thC. It is surrounded by a dry moat. A wooden bridge replaces the drawbridge. Above the doorway is the family crest of the Rieux family.

The fortress is surrounded by a curtain wall and bumps in the soil show there were several buildings inside. The donjon tower is a massive hexagonal structure. It is now a roofless shell. There are the remains of the guard rooms on either side of the doorway. There are dire warnings about using the spiral staircase.

The smaller tower was restored early in the 20thC and according to the leaflet given to us ‘once inside four floors can be reached by a spiral staircase which ends with a rampart walk ‘. The tower was locked and judging by the cobwebs had been locked a long time.

It is a romantic ruin and pleasant place to drop out, however, we did not feel it was worth the €5 entry or the walk.

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