Chateau De Tornac November 2022Chateau De Tornac November 2022
©Chateau De Tornac November 2022|Olivier Octobre
A remarkable viewpoint on the Gardons Valley

The castle of Tornac

This castle dating from the 12th century offers an exceptional panoramic view of the Cevennes gate and the plain called the Beau-Rivage Valley. All around the castle you can admire the sound of cicadas in summer, a Mediterranean vegetation with holm oaks, pubescent oaks, laurel, honeysuckle as well as many animals such as the Common Buzzard, the European Bee-eater…

War and history

Overlooking the Gardon d’Anduze between vineyards and mountains, come and discover the castle of Tornac at 3 Km from Anduze classified in the inventory of Historic Monuments since 1985.

It has a neuralgic position, it is a place of passage between the Rhone Valley and the Cevennes. Passed here the routes of salt, silk, minerals, transhumance …

It was a defensive castle for several centuries and more particularly during the war of the Camisards in the 17th century. During its history it was also a ceremonial castle.

During the French Revolution, the heirs completely neglected the castle.
It was burned on April 4, 1792. Even if the French ceilings, woodwork and frames have completely disappeared, the imposing rectangular silhouette of the Renaissance dwelling and the Sandeyran tower still remains perceptible in the landscape of the Gardons valley.

During the Second World War, On August 25, 1944, the castle will be a refuge of a garrison of maquisards who will destroy a German column.

The Sandeyran Tower

The name TORNAC would have as meaning “TORN” = tower and “AC” = place, this explanation would come from the presence of the Sandeyran Tower. Advanced lookout post of the city of Anduze.

This tower would be present since Roman times, built at that time in wood. The castle was built around the Tower.

This will take the name of Saint Deyran during the Christianization of the region. In Tornac the people were Catholic unlike that of Anduze which was Protestant.

The Tower will take its stone form in the 12th century during the fortification. Remains of its ramparts can be seen at the entrance gate of the castle against the dwelling.

Did you know that?

The legend of the castle

A young commoner married a Sir de Tornac who made a knight in the 13th c.

He left to accompany the king’s brother to Italy and left his beloved wife Hermance in Tornac. But her mother-in-law and sisters chase her out of the castle and she returns to the farm. The sir of Tornac is believed to be dead.

About 2 years later, a knight arrives in Tornac on his beautiful horse, he speaks to a young woman who is tending the pigs by the side of the road. They don’t recognize each other right away but as they tell their story they realize that they are indeed husband and wife. Those are the great reunion to the great displeasure of the beautiful mother and the sisters put in the convent.

Its architecture

The Tower
High at 25m and 5m on a side. It was part of the signal tower system. Thus, it was possible to warn of a barbarian invasion from the coast to Florac. At the top of the Tower, during the day, in case of an attack, bundles of wet grass were lit so that a smoke would be released and be visible from another tower; at night dry grass was burned so that the flames would be consistent and visible.

The Renaissance dwelling
In the 17th century, the Renaissance dwelling was built, we can see it from afar from the plain with its 28 m long and its large openings. Its architecture is reminiscent of that of pleasure castles. It has large cellars and a cistern in the basement. With the change of owner, Henry De La Fare put in defense the terrace in the south and the development of the northern enclosure. These devices were useful to defend the castle in the middle of the religious war.

Different owners have succeeded each other since the 12th century, each bringing modifications according to the times.

Visit the castle

And its surroundings

The castle will fall into oblivion until 1971 when the association of the friends of the castle of Tornac undertook restoration work accompanied by the SIVU (Syndicat Intercommunal à Vocation Unique) of Tornac, owner of the place. This testimony of the past also becomes a cultural place since concerts are organized there. The video clip of the song “Barraccuda II” from the album “Aimée” by Julien Doré was shot at the castle of Tornac.

Locals as well as tourists regularly come here to spend time with their families.

In the summer period, Cévennes Tourisme organizes guided tours. Thanks to the tour, the place comes alive with its past according to the tasty stories of our tour guide.

You can also enjoy our family hiking loop of 2.7km.

Access to the castle

The exteriors of the castle are in free access. You will find a free parking at the bottom, along the D907 route de Nîmes. Sloping and stony path, provide walking shoes.

On site