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Google Earth Plug-in: Commarque castle

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Commarque is a XIIth, XIVth, and XVth centuries castle. Built on the troglodytic remains of a fort dating probably IXth or Xth, the fortress of the XIIth was protected by two ditches and a double enclosure. We reached it by two successive drawbridges beaten by chatelets.

The first enclosure contained lodging houses for soldiers, magazines and outbuildings. The second protects the castle the main detail of which is the juxtaposition of two square keeps, one of them from romanic era and the other of the XIIIth, crowned with machicolation and including a vertiginous watchtower.

We can admire an arched in nose cones keep, a curious fenestrage in geminees small columns under a bow of discharge, gaping fireplaces in overhanging position, bays with transoms... The castle was reshaped and strengthened until its destruction in the XVIth.
Under the castle, a cave discovered by the abbot Breuilh, in 1915, contains engravings and sculptures as those of the White Cape.

At the beginning of the XIIth, Gérard de Commarque donated the castle to the Templar Knights. After the dismantling of the Order, it fell into the hands of the Hospital Knights of Saint-Jean-de-Jerusalem which set up the most important keep. Afterward, they sold it to the Beynac family and Commarque became the head of a chatellenie having high justice on the parishes of Mareuil and Etamines.
On April 23rd, 1406, the castle was occupied by the English troops of Archambaud d'Abzac who arrested the Beynac.
The house became then a den of remorseless captains which battered neighborhood. During Religious war, the fortress was taken in 1569, after a hard battle. The castle having an only military function it was afterward abandoned and falled into decay.

An association founded by Hubert de Commarque contributes for several years to make relive the site, by organizing cultural meetings.

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