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Chateau de La Roche, Saint-Priest-la-Roche

#5 of 14 in Historic Sites in Loire
Castle Tourist Spot
The Château de La Roche is a restored castle situated in the commune of Saint-Priest-la-Roche in the Loire département of France, 20 km from Roanne. The castle stands on an island in the lake formed by the Villerest dam.HistoryThe earliest written records of the castle date from 1260. It was built on a rocky platform overlooking the Loire river from a height of 30 metres. The fortress allowed a watch to be kept and tolls to be collected for the County of Forez border. The building suffered floods from the Loire more often than attacks from enemies.In the 17th century, because of repetitive floods, the castle lost its attraction, resembling more and more a fortified house that would become a ruin in later centuries. At the end of the 1900s, an industrilaist from Roanne bought the castle and restored it in the Gothic style, intending it as a second home.During the 1930s, the construction project for the Villerest dam by EDF condemned the château to disappear below the water. The structure degraded very quickly and was subject to numerous acts of vandalism. It was finally bought for a symbolic one franc by the commune.During the construction of the dam in 1984, the château was the only building spared by the waters. It is now situated on an island. In 1996, it was entirely restored and the side facing the water was remodelled to permit access throughout the year.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
66 reviews
  • Magnificent Castle. In a very nice setting and the dramatised visit is perfect to learn more about the Castle.
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  • Nice site. We could not visit as closed. We will be back during one of our future rides.
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  • The visit went well, it is a beautiful building of the XIII, who has missed several times to finish completely submerged because of the EDF dam. At one point, he even belonged to EDF which had the project to destroy but as it was not completely submerged under the waters of the dam, they gave up. The Castle has also withstood many floods, therefore, there is no real furniture but copies cardboard because insurance does not reimburse disaster... Even the water came up to the 1st floor, but the Castle remained intact after these natural disasters. He had many owners, to start the rock Lords. Each room is dedicated to an era with the corresponding owner. "" There was a dramatised visit, the gentleman that we were visiting was dressed as one of the closest owners of our time and we had the Castle while discussing with the "ghosts" who were the other owners. It was recorded videos. It was very interesting, he was showing us the evolution of hygiene, contrary to what one might think, the middle ages is not a period where people do not wash. The Lords take a bath every day in a tray that looks like a big barrel. It was during the Renaissance where people do not wash because they think it makes less "vigorous". The last piece is an exhibition with photos, there are small devices in wood with photos in black and white of the Castle where we look through two holes and can be closer or away to see more or less closely. I would recommend this visit which is really very informative.
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  • Well located restaurant pleasant with good Castle view kitchen a little too rich. Friendly staff
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  • Good kitchen. View of dream. Terrace Lebanon Tavern
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  • great setting excellent table terrace change (ours was broken and the parasol was struggling to hold right) but frogs legs are nice personal fall
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  • Disappointed with the room framework much trp brilliant high price!
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  • Location: a beautiful, fabulous frogs, impeccable service and courteous, honest prices. To remember to return
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