Fondation Grand Paradis
11012 COGNE (AO)
(+39) 0165 749618
Recent studies have shown that the current configuration of the castle dates back to around 1275; however the place name “Castrum Argenteum” had already appeared in 1176.
The constructor was probably Master James of Saint Georges, the architect of Count Peter II, already active in Wales. The promontory on which the castle stands and which overlooks the residential area of Villeneuve had already been inhabited in protohistoric times and during the Roman era.
Its strategic position ensured that the castle remained property of the Count of Savoy along the centuries.
The castle consists of a vast enclosure with fortifications and a watchtower on the outside.
On the eastern side is the chapel, the oldest part of the complex (11-12th century). The western part of the enclosure is delimited by a defence wall which contains the entrance. This second perimeter structure contained the residential wings, now destroyed, buttressed against the wall, the vaulted cistern and the circular keep.
The architecture puts in evidence the defensive aspect of the original structure: the entrance door was placed some meters above the earth level and the only openings are the embrasures that are practically invisible from the outside.
The castle can be reached on foot in about fifteen minutes from the little road starting from the bridge over the Dora Baltea, in the village of Villeneuve.