Caesar Tower was built in the mid 13th century. It is one of Limousin’s only circular towers from that era. It was a dungeon and there used to be a lordly estate by its side. The tower was an important part of the town’s fortifications.
Allassac’s eminent lord was the archbishop of Limoges. He lived too far from Allassac to actually run the town, so he delegated part of his power to local lords, namely the lords of Comborn. This mighty Correzian family of viscounts lived in this particular part of town. It is likely that the Comborns had Caesar tower built.
The tower is mainly made of local slate schist and is almost 30 metres tall. There used to be a doorway on the first floor, which could be reached by using the tower’s walkway and footbridge. It was barely possible to live in this part of the tower, because the slits in the walls on the first floor brought very little light. A trap door in the middle of the room leads to the lower level: a cul-de-sac pit which was used as storage space but also as a jail. The only way out of this lower room was through a hole at the top of the dome arch. A door was added on, in the 17th century for more convenience.
The upper floors were supported by wood flooring and were probably adjoined by trap doors and ladders. The second floor had slits to let the daylight in, and was equipped with latrines which could be seen from the bottom of the tower. A bedroom was located on the third floor. It had a large bay window installed at the end of a spacious niche. The door that led outside on the 4th floor gave access to a type of defensive balcony, where you could see the enemy from above. The only traces left of this balcony are holes in the beams that supported it. On the same floor, an intramural stone stairway leads to the upstairs terrace. The machicolation was added on during the 15th and 16th centuries to replace the balcony. The crenations you can see today were added on in the 1990s.
Allassac, Saint-Viance, Voutezac
- 1. Caesar Tower
- 2. Tower manor
This video introduces you to the 13th century Caesar tower. Thanks to reproductions and drawings, you will understand its initial structure.