The historic keep of the fortress is easily seen from far away as you approach Puy en Velay. What’s more, if you come between 9 and 11 November you will witness a truly splendid event, the annual hot-air balloon gathering. An amazing spectacle !
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The majestic Forteresse de Polignac at Puy en Velay
The castle known as the Forteresse de Polignac has presided over the village of Polignac and the Velay plateau for almost 1,000 years from its perch on the outskirts of the medieval town of Puy en Velay. It is open to visitors from 12 February to 11 November and is an essential place to visit with a fascinating history !
Not another castle, do I hear you say? Yes, but by discovering the unusual story of what happened within its walls, that you grasp the sheer power of the place. Perched on a volcanic rock, covering 3 hectares, its historic layout shows its importance in days gone by. The remains have been well-maintained and there are lots of interesting features to discover. The entrance is via several fortified gateways and a ‘souricière’ (literally a mousetrap, a small heavily guarded courtyard), illustrating the defence system of the period.
What to see at the Forteresse de Polignac ?
the mysterious ‘puits de l’Abîme et de l’Oracle’ (wells)
the medieval garden created and maintained by volunteers
the keep and its magnificent 360° panoramic view
workshops including the forge, weapon-making workshop and mint
the chapel where knights were dubbed
the seigneury (nobles’ house)
the main courtyard where lords and guests were welcomed