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Wars in Provence and Templars

The filiation of the Lords of Castellane

At the initiative of Raimond de Saint-Gilles, count of Toulouse, the abbeys of Lérins and Saint-Victor committed, in 1089, talks to end their quarrel about churches that each claims. The Lord of Castellane take part. For the first time, it was named Boniface, and for the first time it is referred to by the name of its castle: "Bonifacius de Petra Castellana". The same year, Stephanie Lee, his wife and his son, attended the ceremony in which his brother Pierre, Bishop of Senez, confirmed the possessions of the Abbey of Saint-Victor de Marseille in his diocese, to Petra Castellana, the Priory with the Church Sainte-Marie, his 'claustra"and three annexes churches in Blieux, the Church of St. Peter, etc. Five years later, the Lord and his wife give to the Abbey of Lérins of Puimoisson property (1094) and provide at the same time one of their younger son, Jason Aldean, for being a monk. The Act is passed to Roumoules Castle, maintained by a parent or a faithful, in the presence of their four sons, including Fung himself. Thus became a monk at Lérins, this one is probably the Jason Aldean, who will inherit his uncle Pierre episcopal headquarters would be.

Successor of Boniface

As Boniface, he will have six successors in less than two hundred years, of which five prénommes also Boniface; each of them historians have affected sales to distinguish it from the others. Only with a different name, "Lee of Petra Castellan'" probably identifies with the Laugier who attended in 1089 in confirmation of the property of Saint-Victor, then the donation in 1094 Lérins. At his death, probably premature since it no longer appears in any document, the eldest of his four sons will ensure his estate under the name of Boniface II. He married Laure, passion de Pontevès granddaughter and daughter of Pons de Lançon, which she will inherit the lordship of Salernes that she will convey to her husband. In 1122, at a new confirmation of the property of Saint-Victor by Aldebert, Bishop of Senez, Boniface II is said for the first time, "Bonifacius of Castellane'."
Cross-checks and analyses made arise episodes, sometimes the existence until then unsuspected men. Examples:

  • The "donation" to the Knights Templar of the land of Ruou (Lordship of Villecroze), with four bondsmen of Salernes and one of Entrecasteaux (gift made in 1155 by Laugier de Castellane, son of Boniface II and Laure) is known only because of the researchers themselves are overview that Boniface V CITES, one hundred years later (1252), during a "donation" which he made himself to these Ruou Templar;
  • Mentioned in an act or two only, some of Castellane is discovered with the advancement of research, as Boniface IV said le Roux, that ignores Laurensi;
  • Juigné de Lassigny was reconstituted with penalty their parentage in his genealogy of the Castellane House, which is still authoritative although dating back to 1912: if it holds for proven their direct progeny of Dodon and his father Pons-D'arbaud, the frequent similarity of names does sometimes hesitate between the succession of son to father and he brother to elder brother; cautious and reserved, he doesn't consider as certain the link uniting the son to the father only later.

Provence under the authority of the counts of Barcelona

At the beginning of the year millet, the count family from Guillaume le Libérateur still ruled Provence. As a result of marriages, it will branch out into three branches: the Provence-Barcelona, Provence Toulouse and Provence-Forcalquier. After some time of undivided ownership, these three branches share the country, that they cut into three separate counties:

  • The count of Provence, that form throughout the South of the Durance; He goes to the count of Barcelona;
  • The comtat Venaissin (from the name of Venasque, the capital), which includes the rest of the province of Arles; He goes to the count of Toulouse;
  • The County of Forcalquier which includes the territories of the provinces of Aix and Embrun North of the Durance; He goes to the count of Urgel.

The history of the 12th will be filled with rivalries of the counts of Toulouse and Barcelona to restore the unity of the country for their benefit. Rivalries that make more difficult the claims of a powerful and stirring Lord Raymond of Baux, supported by eager aristocratic families of the most authority, including the Castellane who dream of independence for their barony of Haute-Provence.

Raimond Bérenger I

The count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer I married Douce, daughter and heiress of Gerberga, herself sister and heiress of count Bertrand. For now, although his wife has given him all his rights to the count of Provence, he extends his real authority on Western Provence, but has check-mated the powerful family of the Brussan-Paliol, of which the areas around Aix, and responsible for the murder of his father-in-law. The force of his methods caused a sensation: now the failure no longer means compromise but dispossession. Impressed, eighty-nine Lords lend him tribute in the year 1113, all, it is true, in the Rhone region and West of Aix.
Thanks to its military strength (he has been careful to bring with him to the Catalan Knights) it will be sent to rally in less than three years a larger fraction of the aristocracy. Thanks also to the influence of the Abbey of St. Victor, firmly established in Catalonia. Thanks finally to the pressures exerted by the order of the Hospitallers of Saint-Gilles and the higher clergy provencal. In 1116, he captured the castle of Fos, then arrives at Brignoles where, on 13 July, several large, who had not deigned to do so earlier, come give him tribute, including Guillaume II de Moustiers that escort Augier, Bishop of Riez. The following year, Guillaume is still in the remainder of the County coming to impose a Lord of Nice, the family of the Viscounts of the place, an agreement with the Bishop).
The counties of the first line had not so much sought to contain the aspiration for autonomy of the great aristocratic houses, that did not bind to them no feudal links to itself. On the contrary, the Catalan intends to impose at all one other than nominal suzerainty. To oppose its claims, some of the greatest Lords of Western Provence take the lead in a sedition, in 1125, including Raimond of Baux, Guillaume de Sabran, and Guillaume-Raimond de Vedène, in relation to the count of Toulouse, who has himself rights in Provence.

Checkmating the revolt against Bishop Augier, County kills in combat Guillaume de Moustiers and Pons de Lançon, father-in-law of Boniface II

Taking advantage of the circumstances, several nobles of Provence Central and Eastern raise in turn. Less against the new authoritarian style of Government, they still hardly had the opportunity to experience the rigour, to try to recover the large portions of areas that the Church has taken from them by feel, questionable processes. Among them, Fulk de Grasse, which, after having removed Vallauris to the monks of Lérins, trashing their possession of Arluc and Truán de Laurade, seigneur de Châteaudouble and Ampus, which burns our Lady of Espeltique, near Montfort (December 1121). For their part, Pons de Lançon and Knights of Montbrien reduce Albiosc in solitude, and burned in January 1125, the Church Saint-Pierre de Brauchm, Guillemette itself, widow of Guillaume Augier, strongly blends with the insurgency; There is hostilities between grandsons of Arbert de Lançon. It had eight sons, including:

  • Bertrand, former Bishop of Riez (from 1034 to 1062);
  • Fulk of Pontevès which took, between other son, Pons de Lançon, himself father of Laure, wife of Boniface II;
  • Augier ("Spada Curta") who, himself, had two sons: William Augier, recently deceased but whose name is his widow, Guillemette; Augier, current Bishop of Riez (1096-1139), architect of Gregorian reform, which, in March 1103, gave to the Abbey of Lérins this Brauch Church, which his brother considered as heritage property.

It is to this revolt that took part Guillaume II de Moustiers, it will be fatal. After submitting the rebels West (September 16, 1125) and resolved the dispute with the count of Toulouse, Raimond Berenger I, which found the opportunity to intervene in a land where his authority is still poorly insured, promptly won the region of Antibes with its Catalan Knights. After reducing coot de Grasse, it operates clans backcountry: Pons de Lançon must find death clans battle, it will be most talked about him.
He finally turns against Moustiers. Follows 'great war' which we ignore the ups and downs; We know only that Guillaume was killed him also, its castellum destroyed on the oppidum of the run of Quinson, the churches Sainte-Marie and Notre-Dame-de-la-Roche, vandalized. The County confiscated the widow of Guillaume the castles of Aiguines, rooms and Saint-Jars, and delivers them officially to the knights who, betraying their Lord, have supplied them to him without a fight. We know the names under which they will pay tribute in 1147 in Digne: Saint Rostaing - Prs, Guillaume de Saint - Prs and Joufre of Aiguines. By requiring the presence of Boniface II at this ceremony, Raimond Bérenger I made him pay obviously his kinship with his father-in-law Pons de Lançon, probably also a certain connivance with Guillaume II.

End of the Moustiers

The Moustiers will remain one of the prestigious aristocratic families of Central Provence but, as they were eliminated by laugh at the end of the 10th century, they must leave at the beginning of the 12th century the lordship, however, they will continue to bear the name. Name who will have undergone a change: Lérins having erected the new Priory Church Sainte-Marie, the place will count, before March 1250, two monastic settlements. To devote this coexistence of Saint-Victor and Lérins, the toponym of Moustiers, written until then in the singular ("Monasterium"), takes from the plural. The death of Guillaume III, son of the revolt of 1125, his heir will adopt the new spelling; but William IV "of Mosteriisn, present, July 24, 1227, with other great in the region, to the assignment of the Consulate of Grasse, and in October 1235, with the definition of the status of the Bailiwick of Fréjus, will then serve as a Lord of Callian. And other branches of the Moustiers will have authority to Espinousse and Entrevennes.
"After the annexation of the barony of Castellane (1262), when the count Charles I" will require the great lords of Provence to settle in southern Italy or Sicily to prevent their turbulence during his absence, it will assign to a Guillaume de Moustiers, in Sicily, the castrum of Gratteri forfeited to Henri de Vintimille (1271).
Boniface II has solid reason to be resentful against the County: resolution to avenge his father-in-law, Pons de Lançon, died during the fighting around Brauch and Pontevès, can only strengthen his refusal of any guardianship and its claim independence; fierce contention which was already the policy of his predecessors and animate one of his heirs.

Boniface II strengthens the defence of the territory...

Prefacing the inventory of the Archives of the Basses - Alpes, M. Z. Isnard recalled that "the barons of Castellane, invested with sovereign power, have only until the end of the 11th century, the administration of justice in this part of the Haute-Provence, where they established courts and appointed judges." Even after having been forced to pay tribute to Ildephonse [Alphonse], King of Aragon (1189) and Raymond Berenguer IV (1226), counts of Provence, and recognize their suzerainty, these powerful feudal lords retained the fullness of the authority they exercised on their vassals. That is why, although no document provides official - in Castellane the title of barons (with the exception of a deed of donation to Ruou dated 1195), the tradition called "Barony" group of Lords where they held these privileges. Tradition that far back since an investigation made in 1354 on the functioning of the gabelle in Castellane, a witness will speak about "seu baronnia domini Castellanal Bonifacii".
More than the origin of the count of Barcelona, it is his determination to subjugate the feudal aristocracy, which further strengthens the hostility of Boniface. Solidarity in misfortune and suspended threats on himself than on the Moustiers, encouraged him to support its neighbours. It consolidates their common defence by building, to control the main lines of communication, works that strengthen strategic points through walls. Upright in dry stone, number of these rustic "basties" or castles of war had, over the centuries, be washed away by the rains and storms, so-called places sometimes evoke their memory. There are surviving however some, for example:

  • The COE of the bastie17: at the confluence of the Verdon and the ravine of Mortmain. It bar the path which, the castle of needles, now in the hands of a man in the County, leads to Château-Neuf tumbling pass of D'illoire on the Verdon, that it crosses at Ford before climbing the right bank between adhesives of the olive tree (alt. 758 m) and Meyresle (alt. 817 m); It was then the river by ridges, up the ravine of Mortmain, backtracks in turn. Permanent danger to the Château Neuf des Barris, this path is also for Castellane, because it further branches on the Roman road, which leads directly from Moustiers... The work between two elements between which the path past: South coast, a platform backed by the drop on the Verdon. Its sides were defended by an enclosure of stones dry forming Horseshoe, and reinforced walls developed; although in large part collapsed, pregnant and walls differ markedly. on the uppermost platform, traces on the floor of the Castle and its backyard. North side, a vertical rock: its height ensured a first protection natu-relle on three sides; He was crowned a narrow pregnant dry stone, Middle module, still pretty close in stall in recent years, recently destroyed by vandals.
  • The cliff of Peycal ("Peycard" on the map IGN, alt. 1335 m); before the small plain of Suech that overlooks the bar of trucks, the ubac which, one hundred years earlier, was perhaps the first castle of Rougon.
  • The Petit-Robion bastie: Northeast of the hamlet of that name, on the territory of Robion, a dry-stone enclosure surrounds the small top that separates the ravines of la Sagne and the father of the Wolf, and that cover today pine trees and bushes. At Eastern, a portion, 7.50 m long, shows the remains of the wall, thick of 2 m, the exterior cladding, the only visible, made large 60/70 cm-long blocks, high of 30/40 cm and 35/40 cm wide. To the Southwest, a garden shed, which is no longer in service since long time, employed as background an another por-tion of the wall, and for its coasts, not silly frames formed heap, also the stones of the walls, probably taken in the southern part, missing; the wall used background has a dozen of metres in length, a total height of 1.68 m, a thickness of 2 m; siding is very big blocks inside the fortification, outside blocks in exploded Lice. The rest of the enclosure, often hidden clans vegetation, rarely exceeds 30 or 40 cm above the ground. Some rocks protect the Center, raised naturally, as a kind of Dungeon. The work countering the Trigance-Castellane path which, by the ravine of the soft and Robion, reached the torrent of Rayaud at its confluence with the ravine of the meadow of the Wolf. A sheepfold in ruins, three hundred metres further, took the name and is called "The Basile".

Other places received a toponym of warrior inspiration, probably explained the presence of a Fort, but as these places have more traces of construction, and no document mentions the book they were wearing, it is only their name, their strategic location and their military utility that invite them assuming a role in the defence of Castellane. For example:

  • The Tower: North-West of Castellane, at 500 m as the crow flies North Taulanne, a large rock stands at the confluence of the ravines of Sant-pair and Kia. his walk, a trail (which perhaps was going to old-Bich) branches on the road to Digne. A small dry-stone enclosure could fortify the platform which crowns the Summit, but nothing remains.
  • The Castel de Ruel: 4 km as the crow flies to the West of Castellane, produced on a rock (alt.1 180 m) a fortification commanded possibly the path that descends from the pass of colleagues coming from Sandra, Castellane, either directly, or in branching off before the lieu-dit "Le Goulet", to go through Brayal and La Colle. Last remnant, a ditch dug at human hands, which isolates a replat in spur.
  • The rock of the Fort: crow flies, 4 km northeast of Trigance and 2 km South-West of Robion. it dominates and could monitor the path that, coming from Trigance by "the big Valley" and the top-Bagarry, joined "Bass of the sweet"-necked Trigance-Castellane road by the ravine of the soft, Petit-Robion-Rayaud torrent.

...Then goes to fight the County (1147)

In 1146, Boniface had to attend, always under stress, to the translation of Notre-Dame-de-Florieye, one of his parents, the Bishop of Fréjus Bertrand, had instituted 11 years earlier on the territory of Tourtour, then under his influence. She was transferred to le Thoronet (about twenty miles South-West of Draguignan), where the right-of-way of Raimond Bérenger II is better felt. However he had entrusted personally to this Cistercian Abbey Saint-Pierre de Demueyes independent monastic Foundation, with the graves of his family...
As soon as the opportunity presents itself, he takes up arms: in the region of the Rhone, Raimond de Baux initiated the fight against the County. Provencal brother-in-law of Raimond Bérenger II - he married Elsa, second daughter of Gerberga and sister of sweet indeed - he claims have some rights on the County. The support of the Republic of Genoa and the count of Toulouse, his camp includes Rostaing of Sabran, Gancelme de Claret, Guy de Fos and a fraction of the Rhone aristocracy. Boniface went clans the Arles region with a few allies, Guigue de Roumoules, Guillaume de Montagnac, Pierre de Galber, and participated in the fighting. Its role must be important: after the failure of the uprising, in 1147, it appears first on the long list of those that the new count Raimond Bérenger II forced him to pay tribute to Tarascon. For their part, the children of the vanquished of 1125, Guillaume and Raimond de Moustiers, Fulk de Pontevès must do to fit a few weeks later, with their parents or friends Guillaume Augier and Cordel brother, Isnard de Roumoules and Isnard de scale, Hugues of prayer and other Lords of Central Provence and Haute-Provence. The example of Boniface II, his shady successors will submit to the humiliating ceremony cere (1189 and 1237), bare head, knees to the ground and hands clasped, only after there have been reduced by force of arms.

Support of the County and offspring

Constantly on guard against the turbulent nobles of Haute-Provence, County provides constant support to the ecclesial organization, that makes it it well. It loads the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar to monitor in particular the Castellane. In the first, Bishop of Riez, reformer Augier, introduced thirty years previously at Puimoisson offering them the churches of the castrum and villa Saint-Michel, it gives this villa. The latter have installed a Commandery (which became very powerful) to Ruou, the territory of Villecroze, dependent of Salernes, which is Lord Boniface II.
Raimond Bérenger II died in 1162. Less than thirty years, his nephew and heir Raimond - Berenger III died in turn in the plain of the Wolf, in 1166, during an expedition mounted to recognize his authority by the city of Nice, subject until then in the ascendancy of Genoa, Republic, which monopolizes all the commercial activity of the Ligurian coast for the benefit of its own policy.
Already King of Aragon from 1164 and count of Barcelona, Alfonso I significantly expands its area of influence by receiving the County of Provence, and dreams to develop on the Mediterranean shores a vast catalan Kingdom; during the next twenty years, he managed indeed to impose its sovereignty over a large part of the Languedoc. He only stayed in Provence only intermittently, but there lays the Foundation for a centralized administration with, at its head, a "procureur du roi, bailiff of Provence" with full powers. Then he takes the County directly under its authority, surrounds himself with a small group of advisers and expands the mission of the territorial bailiff, which it strives to extend the action. It's actually veri-table local representatives, both administrative officials and officers of the Court. It transforms the judiciary: a "mage judge" represents the superior body of the count jus-tice, and territorial bailiffs are responsible, in the field reporting directly to County, police, justice, in particular the Suppression of violent crimes, whose punishment results in mutilation or death. A moment, he delegates his authority to one of his brothers, and in 1185, assigns the count to his young son, Alphonse II, but still retaining real power.

Boniface III rejects the suzerainty of the count (1183)

Boniface III de Castellane appears for the first time in 1174, on the occasion of the settlement of a dispute about Thorame, between Guillaume Féraud and Saint-Victor. Second son of Boniface If and Laure de Lançon, it is this second Laugier puisne brother who, having had to give Ruou to the Templars in 1155, probably held the lordship of Villecroze, but never had that of Castellane, probably because he died before his father.
Driven by the same aspiration to independence than this one, Boniface III will continue the same policy with the same consistency. It approximates more of Moustiers by marrying Adeldis, granddaughter of the victim of the Catalan in 1126, who gives him the lordship of Château Neuf. They have two children:

  • Boniface de Castellane, telling le Roux (streets of Castellana) clans will be a donation to the Church of Villecroze (1195)
  • Laure, who married Blacas, Lord of Atys, Seranon, etc, and troubadour. To give an idea of the merits of it, historian Papou translated what said a provencal biographer (which it does not give the name): "Blacas was a noble baron, powerful, rich, generous, well done, who loved women, gallantry, the war and the expenditure; He liked to hold court plenary, to be beautiful, to make noise; He loved singing, fun and everything that gives honor and consideration. Person was never as much fun to receive than to give. He feeds the needy and was the protector of the helpless.

Strengthening defenses against the danger that still constitute the Bishop of Riez and the people of the County that held the castles of Aiguines and Saint-Jars, Boniface III gives a faithful guard of the lordship of Château-Neuf and built in turn of the fortifications, but bricked so stronger than his father, and better yet strategically located :

  • Castle Meyreste, atop limestone, very isolated, hilltop which was the centre first habitat, prior to the Roman era no doubt, until the monks form another Saint-Maurice. The castle is now the Summit a strong military position which, on the route of Aiguines, monitors the Ford of the Verdon and the gorge in which the path climbing the right bank. Mid-slope, a masonry wall follows a contour; almost ' at the top, a dry-stone wall very well assembled. At the end Southeast of the uppermost platform (30 m long x 15-20 m wide), remnants of fortifications drystone follow the rock; East side, a sort of demi-fosse artificially isolates the site; at the northeastern end, a church; other masonry structures are just layered ungraded. In the wake of the Church and to the West, line up several buildings, most of them in dry stone. Shards Roman and middle age (I of the 10th century, 2 of the half of the 11th, and 1 end of the 14th)... The County will take hold of this castle and will keep after 1189. His administration mentioned in a list of castra posterior to 123223. Marie of Blois, mother and guardian of the young count Louis II, will yield in 1387 to Giraud de Villeneuve-les-Arcs. Primitive buildings, there is nothing left. The ruins that we see (fragments of curtain wall of the Castle and portions of the rampart of the village) belong to a second fortress built in its location, probably by Giraud de Villeneuve at the end of the 14th century, during the civil wars to the estate of Queen Jeanne. But since the creation of the first castle, church Notre-Dame de Meyreste, which adjoins it, is attached to the bishopric of Riez; possession that Pope Grégoire IX ratifies, July 30, 1227, in the balloon, previously cited, confirming to Bishop Rostaing temporal of the Church de Riez. However, in the account of decimated by the diocese, it will be mentioned in 1274 or in 1351.
  • The castle of Levens, on a ridge (alt. 1,274 m) which dominates the left side of the ravine of the Estoudeou; According to the traces on the ground, he should measure 16 m long and 4 m wide; There remains a fragment of wall attachment to lime, thick of 0.90 m, long and 2 m in small high device, popcorn and all comers; thickness of the irregular beds, presence of shims. At its foot, on the Southeast side of the mountain, funds of the first village huts are grouped behind a speaker in a semicircle. This fortification monitors the road coming from the castle of St. ganders (the Huby, probable - ment) and by the ravine of the Estoudeou and the Estoublaftse Valley, arrives at Chauvet where it branches on the Roman road.

It passes by Chasleuil and Brandis; to the block, Boniface built two castles. And others, to cut off access to Castellane by the high Verdon Valley and Southeast:

  • The castle of Chasleuil, created for close access to Castellane by the West side, the most threatened: the Roman road focuses indeed dangers posed by men to whom the County has entrusted the castles of Aiguines and Saint: Prs, but mainly the Bishop of Riez. Northeast of the current town on a rock (alt. 1 155 m) which stands for the southern flank of the ridge of the Pas du Loup. at a place called "the old Chasteuil", remain the ruins of a square keep (4,10 m, 1 m thick walls) which the Southeast wall still stands 4 or above the ground; below, plan of a visible dwelling on the ground (4 x 6 m).
  • The castle of Brandis is a second lock on the Roman road: on a limestone spur (alt. 1,061 m), at the end of a ridge descending Cadieres, instead said Chapelle-Saint-Jean (but whichever is later since it will not yet exist in 1278). 11 remain only traces of a speaker on the climax; below, a platform was a backyard or a tiny village. To the Northwest, on the side of the attack, which is also that of access, it is isolated by a ditch obtained by enlargement of a fault.
  • Castillon superior, created northeast of Castellane in the locality Blaron to control access by the upper Valley of the Verdon. To the ex-end of a ridge in spur, the book sur-plombe today the artificial lake that has drowned the village of Castillon, held formerly by the Castellane, and which will be said "Less" to distinguish it from the fortress: a polygonal platform which measures in its pillars 22 x 22 m, with on its edged trace remains of walls; to the South, traces of a small backyard. to the North, below, a third speaker, virtually disappeared, defended a tiny village: ten inhabitants according to 1278.
  • Guard: carved probably in the lordship of Eoulv, the Castle controls access to Castellane by Grasse-worthy road. 0.3 km South-West of the current village, a 60 m-long and wide platform of about twenty, Crown a Marly limestone Summit, which stretches along a North-West/South-East axis, with steep slopes on all sides. No trace of constructions, but bedrock planning helps to understand that a large enclosure surrounded him and that Northwest, the raised portion was probably a Dungeon and the stately home.

"Alfonso I" requires the city of Nice to recognize his suzerainty, in 1176, and Boniface, which it is obviously aware of the provisions of mind, to be a guarantor of the peace treaty signed by the Niçois.

Alphonse I invests Castellane and submits Boniface III (1189)

Heirs of the Kings of Bourgogne-Provence, the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire germa-nique maintain on Provence a theoretical sovereignty, they manifest on the occasion giving bubbles of allegiance and privileges. In 1178, Frédéric Barberousse just be crowned Emperor at Arles by the Archbishop, in the presence of the count of Toulouse and a crowd of bishops and Provencal seigneurs. It gives many graduates endorsing goods and feudal rights, for the benefit of laity and prelates. Then, absorbed by the cares of international policy, it is hardly paying attention to Affairs of faraway Provence. Besides hardly is it gone that Alphonse I, which refrained from attending the ceremony of St. Trophime to keep hands free, dispels any illusion.
According to Caesar of Negi, Boniface III would have benefited from Frédéric Barberousse passage for him the direct subservience of the barony. The Emperor did not consent D'agoult Raimond and fourteen years earlier, to Giraud Adhémar, that he be confined without any intermediary the seigneury of Sault and Grignane? In any case, the Lord of Castellane claims do not pick up by the comte de Provence and, accordingly, refuses him homage. Alphonse I reacted strongly but, because of the power of the rebel Barony, must combine two tactics. Firstly it will isolate it by cutting the paths which are lead by the castles of war, including:

  • La bastide"of the Glue, at the Southeast end of the seigneurie de Moustiers, is the father-in-law of Boniface. From the top of its triangular promontory backed in drop, to the East and South, the Glue of the Vallonge, this cet ouvrage Book control the East and North the Roman road at the point where, by a heavily sloping loop, she left the plateau of Venascle down in the Valley of the Vallonge, that it goes back until the Plan de Châteauneuf. The current building is a reconstruction of the end of the 11th ' century.
  • The bastide of Lagne, South of Castellane, a territory that the Moustiers gave to Saint-Victor to 1015, and that crosses the road connecting Comps and Aups (another Blacas of Aups Castle) by Vérignon; today in the military camp of Canjuers.
  • The bastide of Suns (on the map IGN, "The fortress") in the South of Castellane, at the Northwest end of the territory of Saint-Pierre de Bagarry, that of Castellane gave to the Abbey of St. Victor to 1035. The fortification command path that connects the Château de Trigance (held by relatives of Boniface) to Castellane. It passes through the ravine from the mild (today the limit between the departments of the Var and the Alpes de Haute Provence) the village of Robion and the ravine of Rayaup. At the end of a limestone Ridge which he finished, a wider and more high rock stands on cliffs on all sides. To the North, on the side of the attack, the natural fault was enlarged and deepened; the top of the rock, cut to form a wall is raised masonry. This set is a fairly elongated and irregular rectangle Dungeon. A Barbican defends the entrance; access is cut clans rock, as well as a tank. A fortified village clung to the foot by piton in the south slope and West. It is only heaps of stones and the remains of the wall.
  • The bastide of Esclapon Southeast of Castellane, at the end of a Ridge with steep walls. the Summit of the last of the rocks, its remains still dominate the village to which it has earned the name of La Bastide. She has may-master mission liaison between Comps, possession of Castellane, and the Château de Séranon holds Blacas of Aups, son-in-law of Boniface. The natural fault isolating the ratchet was converted into a pit; the ramp leads to a vast compensate that encloses a small pregnant, later doubled, and which contains a vaulted cistern, with an approximate capacity of 12 000 m 3.
  • The bastide defabmn, Southeast of Castellane, near the source of the river; It monitors the direct way Séranon - Castellane (the current RN 85); Nothing remains on the site it had occupied at the top of the hill with the village of the ball;

Alphonse I then leads more traditional operations. He "crossed the Rhône to the seat of Castellanel. Brignoles, his most important castle in Central Provence, he leads his army against the southernmost places of Boniface: Cotignac, Salernes, Comps. Then operating starting of Aiguines and of Saint-Jars, likely - ment also the Episcopal city of Riez, it removes the castle of Aleyreste, is delivered to Castle nine of the Barris, advance in the direction of Castellane, by the Roman road. And to ensure its free movement, installs a garrison, he entrusts to Hugues de Montréal (March 1, 1188), to the ubac of a Summit, location of the first castle of Rougon, and whose name: "Bar Catalans", is obviously, a souvenir of this military occupation. Here we can see the remains of a triple enclosure of semicircular shape, dry stone, which builds on a high cliff overlooking the present village. Nothing clans texts or on the ground to suggest that most army is gone further, nor that it has taken Chasteuil.

Division of the seigneuries of Château-Neuf and Rougon, creation of the Palud and Meyreste

Overcome by the blockade and aware of the disproportion of forces, Boniface submits without waiting for the final assault. In 1189 Alphonse forced him to go down to Grasse to lend a solemn tribute in the presence of prelates and Lords of Central and Eastern Provence. The lesson is more severe than appear the peace treaty signed by the Archbishop of Embrun, Bishop of Antibes, as well as by Raimond of Agout and Bertrand of Baux (which has among others, North of Barrême, the lordship of involved it will soon inherit the Castellane). Among the 20 or so witnesses, the Bishop and Sandra Marshal, Marshal of Baden, the Commander of the Knights Templar of Ruou, Guigues of Comps, Raimbaud de Grasse". Probably makes County Camps and Salernes, but he previously installed Comps the Hospitallers, who are still dedicated to him and preserved Cotignac, door of Salernes, it gives (with Carcès) Garcia of RESA, one of his loyal Catalans, whose son, fifteen years later, will take the name of the Lord
During the second half of this century, Jean de onteves, count of cams, no doubt considers untenable due to its geographical location village and, to protect his men, strengthens the Grotto on two levels, later called cave Notre Dame due to a chapel where the population will travel each year on a pilgrimage the day of the assumption.
Among the forfeitures not mentioned by Alphonse I in the Treaty of peace, but we discover when his successors, is being permanently seized of Castellane, and for which they will not therefore be in military utility, will yield them one by one:

  • The lordship of Castle nine itself, which it divides into two: it provides the northern part to the Knight who delivered to him without a fight the Barris Castle, with the privilege of constructing a castle and a church, is gathering a new village (alt. 1 155 m) and transfer the name of Château-Neuf (which will now be written as one word). It reserves, meanwhile, the fortress of the Barris and half South of the seigneury. This one, which has no name, borrowed his term at the parish church "Notre-Dame-de-Palude" and is now called La Palud. Charles II Exchange it in 1292 with Pons Moissac-Priouret against two-thirds of the lordship of Moissac.
  • Des hauts de Raugan and the surrounding territory, which he concedes to his faithful Hugues de Montréal by agreement, then to the camp hospital who in 1338, will exchange it with Arnaud de Trigance. The remaining Priouret, Lord of Moissac, rights will be sent when it renâclera to exchange his lordship against that of La Palud (1292 and 1298).
  • The bastide of the Clue, which made a Lordship with a small detached terroir of Moustiers; the County the will entrust in 1294 to the Seneschal of Provence Solliers Alphant, then to Guillaume de Montolieu, in 1305 before the handing over, in 1387, Giraud de Villeneuve - Les Arcs;
  • The castle of Meyreste, which made a sei-gneurie with a parcel of the territory of La Palud; Queen Marie of Blois will entrust it to Giraud de Villeneuve - Les Arcs.

Another consequence of the war where he defeated, Boniface III loses the great Lordship of ChâteauNeuf, received by marriage with the daughter of the Lord of Moustiers. County divides it into two, keep the southern part with the fortress of the Barris; to the Knight who delivered it, he entrusts the northern part, with the mandate to erect a new chaleau, a church and a village, which will retain the name. This new ChâteauNeuf, in the Renaissance, will descend from its uppermost platform on a flat part of the South side, and will develop.

Templars and Hospitallers in the Gorges du Verdon


Generous tradition with the Temple: Saint-Thyrs de Robion and the Grotte de Châteauneuf

Based in the Holy land for the safeguarding of the tomb of Christ and to treat the pilgrims who made to the two military orders, Templars and Hospitallers, were at the beginning of the 12th century, Port Saint-Gilles, in the Camargue, a large charged House of connections with the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The rapid extension of their areas in the Alpine regions, as well demonstrates the depth of the faith of the Provençal as their interest to trade with the Levant; It also reveals the benefits received by these orders, the Hospitallers in particular, for their support without fault to the comte de Provence.
Yet the archives are pretty much silent on the possessions of the Knights Templar in our region. Only are authenticated to the bastide Saint-Maxime, attached to the commanderie de Lorgues-Ruou; one of several lands and revenues at Soleihas, Peyroules, Comps; the rights to Aiguines, covered by the commanderie de Regusse, and other rights in Riez, Baudinard... From questionable assertions, the order of the Temple would have also detained goods Robion and Majastres...

Low implantation

If low implantation can be explained even more difficult that the Lords of Castellane and Riez are among the major donors, free or forced, the commanderies and Lorgues-Ruou Régusse.
Robion, after it was parish of a villa, the Saint-Thyrs Church has become (or to its location was erected a) parish territory of Robion, as evidenced by the small cemetery adjacent to his bedside. We find the first mention in the CARTULARY of Cluny. To 916, Valensole coot and his wife, latinochretienne strain Provencal, were murdered by the Saracens or their Burgundian sponsors, and their possessions looted, during the bloody feud between aristocratic families of Burgundian origin and those of Roman law. Became Abbot of Cluny, Mayeul son did save their marriage contract and the list of the domains they owned; in the commilatus of Riez, among others a villa with the Church Saint-Thyrs (and Robert villam cum ecclesia Sancti) habitat of the villa was able to occupy any nearby to the Southeast, a small isolated peak (alt.1 150 m) which dominates the Church of less than a hundred metres and the current road Le Bourguet-Castellane (D 102). Oriented Southwest/Northeast, almost oval, site is in its greatest length 22 m, in its greatest width, 8 m; a dry stone wall surrounded him on all sides; 14 m forward, to the East, an enclosure, collapsed it also protected the side where the slope is less pronounced.
For Jacques Thirion, the Church, "taking into account the quality of the device, the trace arches broken arch and the character of its lapidary signs, is not earlier than the twelfth century". A cross pattée, carved in the lintel which overcame a narrow window of the apse, did think about the Knights Templar; It's still Taylor who rectifies: "the cross of Malta engraved on the lintel notched bedside window made improperly assign the construction to the Knights Templar by historian Castellane xvIlle century, prior Laurensi, opinion repeated by Feraud in the 19th century and by number of followers. This membership is not at all safe. J. A. pine Grosbeak stressed that there was no written record of a House of the Temple or the hospital in this place. Saint-Thyrs in any case present characters in a small rural Priory serving at the same time parish". It was not until 1300 we find its trace in the ancient texts: it then pays a tithe of 15 pounds to the diocese of Senez, 5 guilders in 1376. In 1697, Bishop Soanen directs a serious reclamation of the vessel and the Bell Tower. Its parish function is transferred to the 17th century to the new Church of Robion, placed under the patronage of Notre-Dame. Summarily repaired in 1942, classed historical monument in 1944, Saint-Thyrs was restored in 1979.

The legend of the Templars

Although count officials who prepare the investigation of 1278 have seen anything like this, J.-J.-M. Feraud, referring to Laurensi, claims that "Castellane also had a House of the Temple in the District of Cheiron. The monastery was built near the ancient Church of St. Peter, which can still be seen the ruins not far from le grand chemin, and the trail leading from the hamlet of the Palus than La Baume". We already know errors in Laurensi on the middle age, he provides here new examples giving Hugues de Bagarris, of the family of the Lords of Bagarry, as founder of the order of the Knights Templar, or by placing a Pierre de Castellane at the head of the Provençal of the first crusade. But the subject of the Templar in Castellane presence, it proves more cautious, adding immediately "but after all, these are just circumstances."
How then to explain the legend? 1278 investigators cite among the rights of the county on the property of the clergy, in addition to one-quarter of a vine of the domus Ponlis, two chickens to be the prior of Saint-André, Parish Church of Petra Castellana, for his lands of the Cheiron ("Prior ecclesia Sl-André served curie II gallinas pro quibusdam terris quas tends in Chaironc"); is this not a vague memory of this property which would have stimulated imaginations?
Even in Greoux, the presence of the Knights Templar is only based on a tradition. It is possible that the loss of acts of any commandery is the cause of this gap. But in the absence of more convincing argument and more solid basis, the authors who think that Spa Castle was the seat of a commandery, come to support - as in a recent book - "if it is wrong, prove it"! ... To fill the gap in this area, the notables who in the last century, wrote the history of their terroir, not always did more scientific rigor.
A good illustration is the case of the cave of Chateauneulles-Moustiers. Classified in 1860 by the "path of interest N ° 6" administration, the road which linked La Palud to Mezel the cemetery of Châteaneuf East of the ruins of the village, descends on the right bank of the Baou along, left, a high cliff carved of crevices. A more profound than other cave, which curiously superimposes two levels separated by a natural platform houses a chapel. It is this place that described J.-J.-M. Feraud, in 1861, speaking of Châteauneuf: "found in its territory a cave which is in great reverence: the tradition is that a religious Templar being escaped from his prison, during the famous trial of this order, came to take refuge, and that he died in the odour of sanctity". The tradition or the imagination of the correspondent who provided the Abbot J.-J.-M. Féraud this information? ... In the records of the proceedings-operations of the Council of the community under the former regime, City Council since the Revolution, it is often question of this cave, "in great veneration"; but she is named whenever Cave of our Lady, never cave (or) Templar (s), while counsellors who speak are peasants, perhaps little educated but knowing better than anyone the traditions and local designations. Féraud adds: "it is believed over there at the [nearby] hamlet of Chauvet a convent of the Knights Templar; There are in fact the ruins of a monastery". No doubt refers to the Chastellas, but popular opinion attributed these ruins, not to a monastery (Templars or other), but a castle, from which the name by which already designate the oldest record.
What will not prevent, fifty years after the Abbot Féraud, a teacher of Chauvet speak again of the commandery of the Knights Templar, and locate, if you understand well, a "Priory of the Knights Templar" on the hill where the old church of St. Peter, the Bishop of Riez gave to the Abbey of Montmajour in 1090, in stripped Guillaume Taxil, owner of the domain of Chauvet and the castle of the Chastellas actually rose '.

The Templars in Sainte-Maxime de Rougon (today Saint-sector de Trigance)

"On the left bank of the Verdon, beyond the current southern boundary of the Pocket which is always an integral part of the territory of Rougon, the Templars had la bastide de Saint-Maxime Rougon, the location - ment likely Church, placed under the same term, D'arbaud and his family gave in 1056 to the Abbey of Saint-Victor". This domus amounted at the foot and to the South of a rocky Summit of low dimension, on the edge of a small arable plain where Prime, 300 m South, a ravine more or less in the form of Glue, which descends in the direction of the Artuby. Farm Centre, it included the farm and its Chapel, it used incidentally discount store with adjoining land and others scattered in various areas: to Plan Mayn

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

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