Sarriod de la Tour Castle, Aosta Valley

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The Sarriod de La Tour castle is a medieval manor house located in Saint-Pierre in the Aosta Valley.

The castle, which belonged to the Sarriod de La Tour family until the early 20th century, now resembles a group of structures from several eras leaned up against one another and enclosed by a wall.

Several structures were erected over the ages due to residential area expansions and changes to the ancient central square-plan donjon, which unquestionably goes back to before the 14th century.

The first design of the castle followed the traditional plan of prehistoric castles in the Aosta Valley, with a central tower serving as the fortress and being kept enclosed by walls. The donjon of Sarriod de La Tour is situated between the larger, more luxurious towers of the later period with a more residential function, such as the tour Colin at Villeneuve or the tour des Cours at La Salle, and the older towers with a primarily defensive function, such as those of the castles of Cly, Graines, or Saint-Germain.

The chapel, which is situated at the southernmost point of the walled enclosure, close to the sheer cliff overlooking the Dora, was likely constructed around the same time as the donjon, according to some dendrological studies. Fragments of the frescoes that once adorned the chapel’s walls can still be seen.

The Sarriod line was separated into the branches Sarriod d’Introd, based in the castle of Introd, and Sarriod de La Tour, who had the castle named after him, around 1420 when brothers Yblet and Jean de Sarriod partitioned their possessions into two distinct lordships.
The pre-existing “Turris Sariodorum” tower was later expanded by Jean de Sarriod, who also added numerous additional portions, turning it into a fortress with symbolic purposes. The cross windows that are distinctive of the Valdostan donjon from the 15th century were inserted, as well as the spiral staircase to the southeast of the tower, thanks to the efforts of Jean de Sarriod.

Antoine de Sarriod de La Tour, Jean’s son, undertook a second significant campaign of construction work around 1470, transforming and frescoing the chapel, expanding the northern building, and modifying the outer walls by adding defensive towers.

The manor’s current irregular and haphazard but endearing appearance is the result of the addition of new structures over the ensuing centuries, such as the 16th-century pigeon tower.

The Sarriod de la Tour family owned the castle until Christine, the last family member, passed away in 1923. The Regional Administration has owned it since 1970 and opened it to the public in 2003 .

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