A medieval fortress located in Labastide-de-Virac, which was used for silkworm cultivation, the Roure castle allows you to discover a whole range of the region’s history. An exceptional visit to make with your family during your camping holidays in Ardèche.
History of the castle of Labastide-de-Virac
At the end of the 14th century a fortified castle was built on the ruins of a bastide built 3 centuries earlier. The castle allowed the Pont d’Arc and the surrounding area to be watched over. Its lord is called the Count of Roure, from a great noble family. In the 16th and 17th centuries, religious wars raged in the region. The defensive parts of the castle and the ramparts were razed to the ground by order of Louis XIII and Richelieu in 1629. In 1685, the Edict of Nantes was revoked. The Count of Roure abjured Protestantism and became a Catholic. Following the persecutions suffered, the Camisards, a group of French Protestants from the Cévennes, revolted. In 1703, the Camisard leader Jean Cavalier took the castle and burned the church.
The castle was sold in 1825 to the family of the castle’s tenant farmer, who transformed it into a silkworm farm. The industry flourished until the First World War. In 1975 the castle, still owned by the Pradier family, was opened to the public and then classified as a historical monument three years later. In the 2000s, numerous renovations were carried out. In 2018, the largest trebuchet in the world was built, sitting at the foot of the castle and recalling its fascinating history.
Visit to the Roure castle
During your visit, you will discover the different rooms of the castle, the covered way and the keep. The view from the dungeon over the Cévennes and the Tanargue massif is breathtaking. Inside the castle you will also see the silkworm farm. This was one of the most important silkworm farms in the Ardèche. This silk eco-museum, opened in 2002, takes you through the history of silk work from the 19th century to the present day.
After the visit to the castle you can explore the medieval park, where the many activities that make a visit to the Roure castle so unique take place. For example, you can watch a trebuchet shooting demonstration and the show “The biggest trebuchet in the world” or a blacksmithing demonstration. At the end of the visit, the more courageous can follow the animation about the ghost of the oubliettes and its mysterious history.
A full tour of the castle and grounds takes about half a day. The visit to the castle alone takes about 2 hours. There are also activities for children.
A souvenir shop and a fast food catering service on the terrace are available to visitors. The Château des Route at Labastide-de-Virac is 34km south of camping Les Ranchisses at Chassiers. It takes about 40 minutes to get there by car, via Ruoms and then Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. From Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, take the 579 south and then a little further left onto the 217 which leads to Labastide-de-Virac.
Information, prices and timetables
The castle of Roure is to be visited from May to October or during the Easter or All Saints holidays. In July and August it is open every day from 10am to 7pm. During the Easter and All Saints holidays from 10am to 5pm. In May, June and September it is open from Thursday to Tuesday from 10am to 6pm. The entrance fee varies according to the period because the activities are not the same. In summer, when all the activities are available, the price is €10.80 per adult and teenager, and €5.40 per child aged 6 to 14. Students and disabled people pay €9.80 and children under 6 get in free. Outside the summer period, the adult rate is €9.80 and the reduced rate is €8.80.