Aubusson is situated at the confluence of 5 rivers which have shaped the steep-sided landscape surrounded by several plains.
The ruins of the castle stand on a rocky spur overlooking more than 50 metres of the River Creuse which flows along below. This dominant and easily defendable position was quickly recognised as an effective strategic location.
According to archaeological studies, the site has been occupied since the end of the Gallic era and it was here that the viscountcy of Aubusson was established during the 9th century and later joined to the County of Marche.
With four sides supported by large buttresses, the square dungeon most likely dates back to the late 12th century.
Adjoining the dungeon was a large dwelling of which only two façades have survived. The construction of this building dates back to 1470, when it was flanked by semi-circular towers crowned with cone-shaped roofs. The castle was surrounded by an outer wall featuring circular towers and protected by a moat.
During this time, the site included two churches: the Notre-Dame-du-Mont castle chapel located within the outer wall and the Sainte-Croix church located outside.
On Cardinal Richelieu’s orders, the demolition of the castle began in 1632, along with several French fortresses where Protestants had taken refuge.
The stone from the castle was used in the construction of many of the houses in the town and also to rebuild the Terrade bridge.
In 1885, a museum was built within the castle ruins, comprising a stone and brick structure adjoining the dungeon wall. In 1938 the museum closed its doors and was demolished.
The remains of the castle are now listed as a national heritage site (Monument Historique).
- 1. The “Chapitre”
- 2. Rue Châteaufavier and church
The Château de la Vicomté in Aubusson was built on the rocky spur which overlooks the town. Take a look at this video to discover the history of this site and envisage the original appearance of the castle depicted by ancient engravings.