Discovering the fortified town of Puycelsi

Puycelsi
Discovering the forti ...

Puycelsi is a remarkable historical city to discover during your stay in the Tarn. The village has the label "Most beautiful villages in France" and is located in a very beautiful region: Tuscany in Occitanie. It is located between Montauban, Albi and Toulouse. The charming historic town is also part of the agglomeration of the Bastides and Vineyards of Gaillac, just like Gaillac and Cordes sur Ciel. Since 2018, Puycelsi, like Castelnau de Montmiral, has been part of the Grands Sites Occitanie.

See how interesting it is to stop off there during your stay in Tarn. You can only see for yourself the beauty of the site and the very special atmosphere that reigns there.


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In the footsteps of the historical circuit

To make the most of the main sites, do not hesitate to bring the tourist brochure consisting of the map of the village and some explanations of the main monuments to discover. This can be collected from the Puycelsi Tourist Office, or from the offices of the Bastides and the Gaillac Vineyards.


Puycelsi


  • The Prison Tower

Observe this tower carefully. Don't you find it unusual? It is neither round nor square. Its particular shape, known as “in the shape of a spur and ogive” allowed more effective protection of the fortified city. Indeed, the towers resisted the attacks of the machines of war and cannonballs better.


the original Prison Tower

The original Prison Tower


  • The 2 doors of the Hirissou

The first Hirissou gate adjoins the prison tower. It is the first to be crossed to enter the heart of the bastide.

The 2nd gate of Hirissou, on the other hand, is next to the guards' house. Look up and you will see the walkway!


The first door to cross to reach the heart of the city of Puycelsi

The first door to cross to reach the heart of the city of Puycelsi

The second door which gives access to the bastide

The second door which gives access to the bastide

The path from door to door

The path from door to door


  • The walkway

As in many fortified cities, Puycelsi was protected by fortifications (ramparts) including a walkway. The 800m of Puycelsi ramparts are in an incredible state of preservation. However, the bastide was the subject of several sieges. Indeed, the Crusades of the Albigenses, the Hughenots, or the English tried, each in their time, to besiege Puycelsi and take possession of this territory. But in vain.


The good idea The good idea: Read our article on the perched villages of the Tarn.


Walk on the walkway
Walk on the walkway  Walk on the walkway

Walk on the walkway


  • The common house

The 1st mayor of Puycelsi was elected by the inhabitants of Puycelsi in 1790. At that time, the ground floor of the building facing you housed a small market.


The common house


  • The old inn

This pretty building is typical of medieval constructions. Witness the ogival door, as well as the mullioned windows (vertical structural element that divides the opening of a window or a door).


The facade of the old inn  The facade of the old inn

The facade of the old inn


  • The chapel of Saint-Roch

His story is rather unique. Indeed, it was the inhabitants who built it at the beginning of the 18th century. They wished to thank heaven for having spared them from the plague.

Note the coat of arms of the carved medieval city. It was Gérard Taillefer, one of the last stonemasons in the region, who took charge of it.


The Saint-Roch chapel, erected by the Puycelsians  The Saint-Roch chapel, erected by the Puycelsians

The Saint-Roch chapel, erected by the Puycelsians

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Walk and stroll in Puycelsi

In addition to the remarkable sites previously mentioned, it is good to stroll through the various alleys of Puycelsi. The picturesque houses, all made of stone, transport you to a unique and harmonious place, but above all to another era: the Middle Ages! It is really very pleasant to see some half-timbered houses, real vestiges and witnesses of a remarkable historical period.


Open your eyes and contemplate what surrounds us  Open your eyes and contemplate what surrounds us
Open your eyes and contemplate what surrounds us

Open your eyes and contemplate what surrounds us

Enjoy great views

Perched on its rocky promontory, the city of Puycelsi offers visitors breathtaking panoramic views of the surroundings. The green horizon is a real reminder of nature. Below, you can see the Verger Conservatoire (old varieties of fruit such as grapes or even apples), but also the forest of Grésigne, the incredible green lung (3000 ha of chestnut trees and oaks).


A stunning natural environment

A stunning natural environment


Thus ends our visit to the charming bastide town of Puycelsi. Do not hesitate to extend the experience by visiting other villages labeled Grands Sites d'Occitanie and located not far away, such as, for example, Penne or Bruniquel.


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Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'Homme for the Guide Tarn Aveyron


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