Friday, May 23, 2014

Europe day 3: Chateau de Puivert

Today we visited the Labyrinthe Vert near Nebias and afterwards the Chateau de Puivert. The former is an amazing area of forest with stunning rock formations but sadly characterised by perennial half-shade, making it hard to get decent pictures with my camera. The following are therefore all either plants or photographs of the castle ruin.

The Chateau de Puivert is one of the many castle ruins in the area that played a role in the Cathar wars. This one was conquered by the crusaders after three days and four nights of fighting.

It was inhabited until the French revolution and has been extensively restored in the last few decades. It was used as setting for several movies, probably partly due to the relatively good state of repair of its main towers and partly due to its accessibility.

Inside there is a small exhibit of medieval items - mostly replicas as far as I can tell. (I know very little French.) There is a suit of armor and a few helmets, instruments, official seals, and some furniture.

It is much easier to see orchids in the Corbieres than in Germany, for example. The above is perhaps one of the prettiest European orchids (or at least that is my opinion) but also a relatively common one. Orchis ustulata (Orchidaceae).

Not an orchid but also an intricately built, zygomorphic flower: Polygala (Polygalaceae). Don't know the species, unfortunately.


  1. Nice pictures. I'm back to Dover Castle this weekend, but I don't have your eye for flowers, unfortunately.