Anyone who has ever visited the Rhône Valley will undoubtably have seen the fortress of Mornas, perched on a steep 137-metre high cliff, and said to themselves "Ah, one day I will have to stop there".
It is certainly worth the detour and the medieval pageant will delight both the old and young alike. The breathtaking panoramic views alone will reward you for the climb up there!
Built on a rocky outcrop, it overlooks the village of Mornas at its feet and offers incomparable views over the Rhône River, which in the past let travellers avoid the country roads and the highway robbers.
Already mentioned in the 9th century under the name of "Rupea Morenata", the fortress, probably built in wood, was there to protect the village of Mornas.
Propriety of the Counts of Toulouse then the Papacy, Catholics and Protestants fought fiercely over it during the wars of religion. In 1562, after massacring the women, children and elderly in the chapel, the Protestants troops under the command of the cruel Baron des Adrets forced the Catholic garrison to throw themselves off the walls. This sadly notorious episode is called "Sauto Barri" or the "wall jump". The Huguenots met the same fate when the fortress was recaptured by the Catholics in 1568. After the French Revolution, the fortress was abandoned and fell to ruin.
Since 1978, the dynamic association "Les Amis de la Forteresse" has been restoring it and has brought it back to life as in medieval times, organizing fun pageant tours with the visitor being welcomed by knights and lords in period costume, for the pleasure of all, especially the children.
For those who want to continue their excursion, a cliff path winds along to the small Saint-Baudile Chapel.
In Mornas, follow the arrows marked "forteresse". Parking available below the cemetery and the Val Romigier Chapel (12th century).
The fortress of Mornas
The fortifications of Mornas
Visit the fortress of Mornas
Medieval entertainment at the fortress of Mornas
Medieval reenactment at the fortress of Mornas
The ramparts of the fortress of Mornas
Association Les Amis de Mornas - 4, rue Thinel - 84550 Mornas
+33 (0)4 90 37 01 26http://www.forteresse-de-mornas.com/