Châtel-Argent, Aosta Valley

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Châtel-Argent is an ancient castle, now ruined, that stands on high ground overlooking the Dora Baltea River in the commune of Villeneuve, Aosta Valley.

valle-daosta

The castle, which had no residential purpose but was exploited by the feudal lord only in case of danger, consisted of a donjon surrounded by other architectural bodies and protected by a triple wall. The area now enclosed by what remains of the wall is 90 x 70 m; it is estimated that it could hold 2,000 men, a more than sufficient guardhouse to control the central valley from a strategic position. As for the 13th-century construction, the tower, the remains of a body of a structure, and a cistern are found within the wall at the highest location on the site. A chapel completed the site. On the eastern front of the fortified area is a small castle church dedicated to St. Columba in Romanesque style that is believed to have been built around 1050-70.

This location has been inhabited since prehistory and into the Roman era. Between 1050 and 1070, a chapel honoring Saint Columba of Sens was constructed. In a document from 1176, the castle is first identified as “Castrum Argenteum.” Under the direction of Count Peter II’s architect James St. George (French: Maître Jacques de Saint-Georges), the castle was improved around 1275, and it grew to the configuration we see today. The dukes and counts of Savoy had always owned this castle.

Châtel-Argent (source)

Featured image: wikimedia

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