Castle and village combined:
Around 560, the castle of Penne was built at the behest of Frédégonde, wife of Chilpéric I, king of Neustria, a woman who would stop at nothing to hold power. Thus she made Chilperic's first wife and his two sons disappear. Her rivalry with Brunehaut, Queen of Austrasia, is famous. War ravaged their states and Brunehaut died on the orders of Clotaire II, son of Frédégonde. Modernised and enlarged, the castle of Penne sheltered Cathars in the 13th century. One hundred years later, the English occupied it for more than thirty years. Finally, the Protestants dismantled it in 1586... Under Henry IV, the stones were used to rebuild the village, which now merges with the castle. Both enrich a site that has become quite unusual.
All year round.
Guidebook with maps/step-by-step
1. Opposite the multi-purpose hall car park, turn left up the road. Continue on the tarmac. 2. Leave the GR® de Pays on the right. As you go down, opposite a house, take a path on the left. Cross a stone bridge to join the road. At the intersection after the stream, go up towards Vaour. Opposite the road to Roussel, take a path on the left that climbs into the undergrowth. 3. At the road, turn left onto the tarmac. At Roussergue, go straight up towards the church. Pass in front of it and take the path on your left. At the crow's feet, go down to the left. In Janoye, turn left onto the road, 100 m further on, climb the steep slope to the right. Go up in a zigzag pattern. 4. At the intersection with the GR® de Pays at the top of the hill, turn left. At the Suquets rock, turn right into a hairpin. At the beginning of the descent, pass two successive hairpins. 5. At the crow's feet on the GR® 46, turn left. In the bend, turn right on the same path, then left at the next crow's feet. Go through Amiel. Cross the D115 to a grassy path opposite on the banks of the Aveyron. It runs alongside the road below. 6. Cross the D 115. Take the D9 opposite, towards Vaour; 30 m further on, turn right towards Penne; 50 m further on, also turn right onto the D9 (small bridge) for the same direction. At the crow's feet 50 m further on, follow the road to the right until the intersection opposite the bridge over the Aveyron. 7. Go up the road leading to the village. At the first curve, take a path to the right under the wall. Cross a footbridge, walk along the old wash house before going under the bridge. Climb to reach the road; cross it to pass the Peyrière gate. In front of the church, follow the Rue du Chais. Opposite the Tourist Office square, turn left to reach the starting point.