Last Saturday on our way home from Les Baux-de-Provence, we stopped at a 15th century castle, Chateau Tarascon. Jack loves seeing all the castles and envisions himself as a knight fighting off the enemy with a large shiny sword! So, this experience was so fun for him. We only stopped for a few minutes because it was late afternoon and we were all tired.
The Castle of Tarascon is a Medieval Castle on the banks of the Rhône River. It has a cool mote that does get filled up on occasion and a drawbridge. The interior walls were protected by the infamous gargoyles. They were too high up, so I could not get a good picture! The kids all thought this was so cool! I think it is a neat experience to witness these beautiful, old, historic castles that we, as Americans, only see through the eyes of a theater screen or a book. Castles, like this one, are common throughout France. Each one has an interesting history.
For example, Chateau Tarascon, was built during the first half of the 15th century and was designed to protect the Provence region from attack. It was an important strategic location due to its position at the bottom of the Rhone Valley and on several important trade routes. After the region became part of France, Tarascon was no longer important, although it did serve as a castle during the War of Religion (the Protestant uprising in the Lanquedoc region, which is the region we live in). By the 17th century is was being used as a prison up until the 19th century. Now it is a museum with tapestries on display and the community has different festivals held at the castle.
We love discovering new places like the Chateau Tarascon! We feel like pinching ourselves when we have these experiences! (Sophie felt like a princess as she was walking up the old stone staircase in the inner courtyard!)