About Saissac Castle
Once the residence of the powerful vassal family of Trencavel, the Château de Saissac is a ruined castle, one of the so-called Cathar castles, in the southernmost tip of the commune of Saissac in the Aude département in the north-west of Carcassonne, France. Based on historical texts, it can be dated to at least 960.
It was bequeathed by the bishop of Toulouse to the Count of Carcassonne. In the 11th century, the castle was pledged to powerful vassals in the country. It is important to note the presence of a castrum under the current castle, probably dating from the 11th century, though its origin can date to the time of the Visigoths.
In 1568 and 1580, Protestant troops destroyed the village but were unable to enter the impregnable fortress.
After the French Revolution, the castle quickly fell in ruins, after repeatedly being looted by treasure hunters in 1862 lured by the romance of the castle’s history.
From 1995, the castle has been in the possession of the commune, which began a programme of restoration in order to make the castle available to visitors. In 2007, two rooms of the main building were rebuilt in the 16th century style, together with the framework resembling the hull of a ship. Many locked cellars under the keep have been made accessible.