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Penne Village and Castle

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The little medieval village of Penne - population just over 500 - lies on top of a hill overlooking the Aveyron River canyon. Looking like it will fall anytime from the tip of the hill are the ruins of the Penne Castle.
The first mention of a castle in the village of Penne dates from 825 AD and its first known senior was Geoffroi mentioned in 1096 in documents related to with Raymond, Count of Toulouse, whose vassal Geoffroi was.
The castle took part in all the conflicts that shook the southwest region of France during the middle ages.
During the Albigesian crusade, it's lord being a Cathar sympathizer, the castle was seized by Simon de Montfort, the crusade leader, and after a short time back in the hands of Raymond VI of Toulouse, became again in 1223 a property of a member of Montfort family, Amaury de Montfort the son of Simon, only to pass one more time in the possession of Raymond VI who moved here his county's archive.
During the Hundred Years Wars the castle once again changed hands between French and English several times.
The castle was abandoned in 1586 and rested deserted until 2006 when a restoration process started.
While still undergoing a renovation process, the castle can be visited during the summer months. The Penne Castle is also linked to the beautiful true love story, that unfolded in the 13th century, between Adalaïs of Penne, its chatelaine, and Raymond of Jourdain, a knight and troubadour who fell in love with Adalaïs and to whom he dedicated the following poem:

" Fidélité de douleur est suivie ;
Sombre chagrin poursuit le troubadour :
Las ! il sait bien qu’il n’est pas dans la vie
Mal plus cruel que celui de l’amour. Adalaïs a toute ma tendresse ;
Son tendre cœur pourrait me rendre heureux.
Hélas ! pourquoi ma charmante maîtresse
Dédaigne-t-elle et mes chants et mes vœux ?

Oh ! châtelaine aussi noble que belle !
Toujours Raymond sera ton chevalier :
Etre à l’amour comme à l’honneur fidèle,
C’est le devoir de tout vaillant guerrier.

Lorsque Raymond, couronné par la gloire,
A ses aïeux ira se réunir,
Sur son cercueil les filles de Mémoire
Répéteront le chant du souvenir.

Au son plaintif d’une lente harmonie
Elles diront : Plaignez le troubadour ;
Il éprouva qu’il n’est point dans la vie
Mal plus cruel que celui de l’amour."

Their love story does not have however a happy ending but finishes with Adalaïs taking the veil in one of the nearby monasteries and with Raymond falling in love with another beautiful lady: Elise de Montfort.

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