Castello di Chenal, Aosta Valley

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Chenal Castle is a ruined Aosta Valley castle located in Chenal a few kilometers from Montjovet.

Chenal Castle is located within the Chenal archaeological site, which contains numerous rock carvings, prehistoric cup stones, and crosses from the possible medieval period. The castle was built by the family of the lords of Chenal in the mid-13th century and passed as dowry to Alexia, the only daughter of the last lord of Chenal, who gave it to her husband Ebalo I of Challant of the Challant family. It was essentially a military checkpoint throughout the medieval period, built strategically overlooking the vertical rejection fault system of the “Thin Hospice” on a mounded rock and in visual contact with the nearby castle of Saint-Germain to which it was ancillary.

Count Francis de Challant sold the castle to Amadeus VII of Savoy in 1438.

After centuries of neglect, the castle is currently in ruins.

The castle is made of stone, partly of serpentinite rock, which is locally available but not very suitable for installation due to its low strength and ease of flaking and breaking under load, and partly of Mont Blanc granite, an excellent building material obtained from the erratic boulders carried by the Baltese glacier and used especially for load-bearing structures such as corners or entrance arches in natural or freshly hewn form.

The structure that remains has an essentially quadrangular plan with damaged outer walls. The most important part of the complex is the remains of a square tower six meters on each side that served as a watchtower over the depression below the castle that housed the area’s main link road.

Within the walls are also the remains of some service buildings.

Featured image: wikimedia


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