• Culture

    Castles

    sentinels of time

CASTLES, TOWERS AND FORTIFIED HOUSES

In Aosta Valley the first castles, towers and fortified houses arose between the beginning of the eleventh and the twelfth centuries, often on top of previous fortifications. In the following centuries, the residential functions began to prevail over the defensive elements.

Whether you meet them along the trail or admire them in a panoramic position on the opposite side of the valley, the castles are ever-present travelling companions along the Balteo Trail.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Fort of Bard

Imposing nineteenth-century fortress along stage 23, it is today a cultural center which houses various museums, including the museum of the Alps, and important temporary exhibitions.  

Issogne Castle

Along stage 21, it houses surprising art treasures, such as the pomegranate fountain and the valuable frescoes of the portico lunettes.

Gamba castle

In Châtillon, along stage 20, the castle houses the regional collection of modern and contemporary art with over 150 works.

FÉNIS CASTLE

Towers and crenellated walls that evoke an adventurous and fairytale dimension, make the Fénis castle one of the most famous and most popular castles to visit in Valle d’Aosta (stages 19 and 20).

CASTLES, TOWERS AND FORTIFIED HOUSES AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

Castles and towers
The tower

Avise Castle

Avise

Getting to Avise, the first building on the village’s left side, consisting in a three-storey construction with a square tower on its side is the Avise castle, built towards the end of the 15th century by Bonifacio or by Rodolfo d’Avise.

The tower’s …

Castles and towers
Tower with dovetail merlons

Blonay Castle

Avise

Near the parish church, you cannot miss the castle complex, consisting of a square tower (12th century) and a more recent main building (15th century) with exquisite cross windows.

The castle was once the residence of the powerful D’Avise family and …

Castles and towers
Summertime

Aymavilles Castle

Aymavilles

Extraordinary opening from 22 December 2021 to 9 January 2022

Aymavilles Castle stands in the centre of the village on a moraine.

The buildings four characteristic cylindrical towers were added to the existing central body by Aimone of Challant halfway …

Castles and towers
Dall'alto

Fortress of Bard

Bard

Already during Theodoric’s reign (early 6th century A.D), sixty armed soldiers were garrisoned to defend the “Clausuræ Augustanæ” (a defence system set up to protect the borders of the Empire) in Bard.

In 1034, it was described as “inexpugnabile …

Castles and towers
Remains of the keep and wall

Brissogne Castle

Brissogne

The castle, today in ruins, was built in the 13th century.

At present it is still possible to observe the remains of the keep and part of the masonry.

Castles and towers
Castello di Villa

Villa Castle

Challand-Saint-Victor

This is the oldest manor belonging to the Challant noble family, one of the most important in Aosta Valley. It was built around the 10th century, but took its final form in the first decades of the 14th, thanks to the works carried out by Ebalo I of …

Castles and towers
Castle's viewfrom the South

Gamba Castle

Châtillon

The castle is closed – Reopens on Tuesday 23 November.

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The castle

Built at the beginning of the 1900s following the plans of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrè …

Castles and towers
In summer

Ussel Castle

Châtillon

Standing on a marked, rocky promontory, Ussel castle overlooks the south side of the residential area of Châtillon.

Built by Ebalo II of Challant in the mid 14th century (the date is confirmed by dendrochronological analyses), the castle marks a change …

Castles and towers
Summertime

Fénis Castle

Fénis

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Unlike the other castles built for military and defence purposes Fénis castle is not situated on the top of a promontory, but rather on a small knoll. In contrast with the defence structure, its function was only to be the …

Castles and towers
In the summer

Medieval tower

Gignod

This square plan tower is situated in the south of the municipal seat and probably dates back to the 12th or 13th century.

Historical data are unknown.