• 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
Tour de la Plantà

La Plantà tower

Gressan

This is a massive quadrilateral construction. Standing on a flat ground, with no natural defences, the tower had a massive structure and perimeter walls that were around 2 metres thick.

It is now in ruins.

Castles and towers
Castle Tour de Villa

La Tour de Villa Castle

Gressan

Located in a position slightly higher then the Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, is the Castle of the Lords of La Tour de Villa.

The ancestor of this lineage was Guido, cited in a pact sanctioning his alliance with the Count of Savoy for the storming of …

Castles and towers
Outside

Introd Castle

Introd

The castle

Introd castle stands on a promontory protected by the harsh gorges of the Savara and the Dora di Rhêmes (in fact the name Introd derives from the term “Interaquas”, or “entre-eaux” in French, which means “between the waters”) and probably …

Castles and towers
Issogne Castle

Issogne Castle

Issogne

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History

Formerly property of the Bishops of Aosta, then restored in the 15th century by Ibleto of Challant, Issogne Castle’s current appearance developed between 1490 and 1510 under George of Challant, the prior of Sant’ Orso, …

Castles and towers
Châtelard Castle

Châtelard Castle

La Salle

On the wide fan of La Salle, in the village of Château, stands Châtelard castle, built, according to the historian Jean-Baptiste De Tillier, by Rudolph Grossi, bishop of Aosta in 1243 and archbishop of Tarantasia in 1246. It is first mentioned in a …

Castles and towers
The large square tower

Ecours Castle

La Salle

Located north of the municipal seat, on the road that goes up to the hill villages, this massive square tower is what remains of the 13th century’s fabric, together with a short section of the ancient perimeter wall.

The building, during the Middle …

Castles and towers
Castles and towers

Chenal Castle

Montjovet

The castle was not built before the 13th century and had a rectangular floor plan.

It belonged to the lords of Montjovet and only later became property of the Challant family, following the marriage between Ebalo the Great and Alexie of Chenal: in this …

Castles and towers
Vision from the south-eastern site

Saint Germain Castle

Montjovet

The castle played an important part in the history of Val d’Aosta.

Few traces remain of its original structure and its construction date is not known for certain.

At the end of the 13th century, the Savoy became the owners, replacing the Montjovet …

Castles and towers
In winter

De l'Archet tower

Morgex

Located in the centre of the village, this tower, with its walls 9 metres lenght and 2,60 metres thick, reminds in its construction technique of the towers of La Plantà in Gressan and Ville in Arnad.

The dendrometric analyses prove that it was built …

Castles and towers
Castles and towers

Casaforte, La Tour Povil

Quart

The “Casaforte di Povil” originally belonged to the lords of Quart.

It was purchased in the second half of the fourteenth century by Jean-Michel Piquart, lord of the manor of Quart at the time and a member of the La Tour family of Courmayeur, who died …