The fortress of St-Maurice

Located on a rocky outcrop at the confluence of the Loire and Ris Serpentin, the fortress of St-Maurice was composed of a massive dungeon and a feudal castle whose location is delimited by sections of remaining walls. The role of the castle was not only a military one, it was also seat of high and low justice.

Built in the late twelfth century in place of a wooden castle, it enabled to watch over the surroundings. It was demolished in 1626 by the troops of Richelieu. Its history is divided into four distinct periods: fief of the lords of St-Maurice until 1220, it was united to the County of Forez, and thus the Duchy of Bourbonnais from that date.

In 1553, it became royal châtellenie, then started to decline following the uniting with the castle to the Duchy of Roanne. Its rights were then transferred to this city which was going to prosper.

Fortifications and gates

The castle and the dungeon were protected by a ring of fortifications, still visible today through the door leading to the castle, the door Guy de la Mure.

The village has kept its appearance characteristic of the Middle Ages with its houses rising in terraces and getting closer to each other in a second ring of fortifications one can access going through the Porte du Ris Serpentin

The dungeon

The dungeon is a 17 meter high imposing tower , whose access used to be several meters above the ground, on the first floor, above a blind ground floor. The visible square holes at the top testify to the location of wooden beams that supported the hourd (wooden clothing at the top of the tower).

During the repairing in 1989, a stone slab was built at its summit, which enables visitors to discover an awesome view . This stone slab rests on the walkway that surrounded the tower.

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