About Arzens Castle
The Château d’Arzens is a castle in the commune of Arzens in the Aude département of France. The castle is privately owned, and dates from the 15th and 16th centuries.
History of Arzens Castle
Originally a fortified village, there is mention of a castle in Arzens as far back as 949AD.
The French Wars of Religion was a prolonged period of war and unrest fought between the Catholics and Huguenots between 1562 and 1598.
In 1574, following the Peace of La Rochelle which ended the fourth stage of the French Wars of Religion, the Huguenots seized the village.
The village remained under Huguenot control until 1591, when members of the Catholic League – also known as the Holy League, and with the intention of eradicating Protestantism from Catholic France – moved on Arzens and, after a long and hard-fought siege, captured it.
The village and the castle were burnt down and razed, the priests were killed on their altar, and then the church was burned. Only a single tower of the castle survived the blaze. Much of the site has since been rebuilt.
Arzens Castle Today
The castle is privately owned. It has been listed since 1948 as a ‘monument historique’ by the French Ministry of Culture.
Visitors can also enjoy the historic centre of Arzens, which still contains many old buildings. The church built at the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century in the Languedoc style is a beautiful ogival building. The original consisted of three bays in the nave, a pentagonal choir with ogival vault and the square tower bell with spiral staircase.
Extensive vineyards surround the village, with the cultivation of wine in the area dating back to the 19th century.
Getting to Arzens Castle
From the centre of Toulouse, Arzens is reachable by car in around an hour to an hour and a half via the A61 road. From Montpellier, the site is reachable in around two to two and a half hours by car via the A9 and A61 roads.