The other secular remains
The bakehouse had three rooms on the ground floor. The one on the left contains the oven and, to its right, a sink with a drainage hole. A window, which still has the remains of its mullions and transoms, opens onto the Château street.
The first of the house’s three rooms currently takes the form of a terrace, but it is in fact the remains of this room, now open to the sky. The paved floor, finely carved stones and the cornice decorated with acanthus leaves bear testament to the quality of the Renaissance architecture of the building. Above the door, you can see the remnants of a staircase leading to an upper story that no longer exists.
The cistern is one of three reservoirs that supplied the Château with water for several centuries. The two other cisterns were located at the top of the rock next to the keep and next to the Château chapel.
This cistern was covered by a barrel vaulted roof and had two openings: the first to receive the water flowing into it and the second for drawing it out. It is still possible to see the tracks worn away by a rope which would have been used to lower a bucket here.
The walls were covered with a mixture of crushed terracotta, sand and lime, which kept them watertight. Regular holes in the separating wall perhaps served to filter the water.
The tall building housing the dovecote was built at the same time as the keep. It is the Château’s second rock dovecote. Its niches, known as “pigeonholes”, have been hewn out of the rock wall. The eggs or young pigeons were collected from here using a ladder.
During the entire feudal period, virtually the only people granted the privilege of constructing and using these vast dovecotes, containing up to 2,000 pigeonholes, were the secular and ecclesiastical lords. This feudal right, which caused such damage to the crops of farmers, was abolished after the Revolution.
The cave dwellings
The cave dwellings form a separate district, which was entered in 16th century land registries as the “Baume de Roucas”. In the Occitan language, “Baume” means cave and “rouca” means rock. It was therefore a district of cave dwellings, which must have resembled those in the second outer courtyard.
In the first house, you can see the shaft of a chimney worked into the thick rock, stairs dug in the wall and cavities where a floor would have been fixed. The house would have had a ground floor and a loft with a fairly low ceiling.
On the ceiling of the second house, there are handles dug out of the rock where items could be hung and herbs or hams could be dried. This house has two chimneys, to the left and right of the entrance, and two carefully worked windows. One looks onto the château façade and the other onto the village