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The ‘Trou aux Lièvres’ (Hares’ Burrow)

Why is this place so important ?

Ensuring the defence of the castle, the ‘trou aux lièvres’, or ‘hares’ burrow’, was one of the most formidable traps for the enemy.

Castle area

The ‘trou aux lièvres’ is a sloping passageway with wide steps that runs across the entire rock. This deep tunnel prevented access to the castle from the west. Above its entrance, it was watched over by a bretèche or brattice (defensive balcony) built into the rock. If an intruder approached, the guards were able to see and repel him by throwing missiles at him. Even if the intruder did succeed in entering, he laid himself open to being attacked by missiles thrown from the roof of the chapel on the left. In those days, it had two storeys surmounted by crenellations. This defensive system also provided an effective escape route in the event of a siege.

In detail

Elements in the walls, such as this ancient door, show us that in those days, the balcony had two floors surmounted by crenellations.

Did you know?

When the assailants were taken prisoner, they were put in the stocks. This instrument was designed to humiliate the intruders and prisoners. Their heads and hands locked in holes in a wooden structure, they were exposed to public ridicule and assault. Invented in the twelfth century, it was an ignominious condemnation that could only be issued by the lords of justice.