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Château de Gavaudun, Reaching Terrifying Heights

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I cannot wrap my head around these sorts of things. How, without heavy machinery did these 12th century slaves manage to build a castle on this ginormous slab of limestone. I know I'm not really savvy in the construction department but it boggles my mind. Now, it's merely ruins but the Château de Gavaudun, even in its current state is really impressive.

From the bottom it looks impossible to get to, but the best architects of the 1100's designed it somewhat ingeniously. There is a large staircase within the rocks surface that's extremely steep. Before going to the top, I suggest you buy some life insurance. No, really though. There are no lights, and unless you have your cellphone at hand (which I'm sure 99% of you do) it's impossible to see. Download that flashlight app now my friends, because you will not be getting service in a giant rock. 
Me holding on for dear life
Frankly, I had no idea what it looked like up there because it was so high. It's obvious why it was almost physically impossible to attack; it's surrounded by forests, water, AND on an eroded hunk of limestone. The royals were lucky, but the many people who died building it, not so much. After the revolution, however, not much of the castle is left. The receptionist gave us a map before making our way up so we could decipher what was what.
"Ok so..this is the pit?" "No that's the pit." "Ok so this is the prison?" "No that's the prison." I felt like I was at the Roman Forum again trying to picture broken stones as churches and stadiums. The only physical structure remaining is the dungeon. It's 6 floors high, and the view is incredible from the top. Inside, though, there's really nothing to see, just a few rooms with dirt. However, you can say afterward that you have walked up the tallest dungeon in Europe. Woo!
My only advice to anyone visiting..bring some sandwiches, there's lots of room to sit down and eat. Mcdonald's hasn't found a way to build up there yet, so until then come prepared. This is our one and only regret. The view is too great to pass up a great picnic!

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