#27 & 137 Château de Roquetaillade
Gironde (Aquitaine), France
This is NOT an official Lego site

The Château de Roquetaillade ["carved out of rock"] consists of a 24 hectare enclosure containing two impressive and powerful stone castles. The earlier (not shown) was initially built as a timber motte and bailey castle in the 10th century by Charlemagne as his army advanced toward the Pyrenees. The "old castle" was gradually converted to stone - beginning in the 11th century and continuing to be refined through the 13th century. No more than a stones throw away is the 'new' castle, begun in 1306 by Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe, the wealthy nephew of Pope Clement V, and shown in all the photos. It is the only fortress in France approved by the English king Edward I. The castle has been inhabited by the same family for 700 years, through five changes in name however, as the originally bleak fortress, pierced almost exclusively by arrowslits alone, tended to be passed on to cadet members of the family, often daughters.
The powerful fortress underwent it's first major renovation in the 17th century. The first story arrowslits were replaced by Renaissance windows, with the battlements rendered more elegant yet still functional, and wonderful interior fireplace/chimney pieces and other monuments created. The family fared well, despite the terrors of the French Revolution, and in 1864 owner Louis le Blanc commissioned famed architect Eugene Viollet le Duc to redecorate the castle to make it even more livable. The magnificent staircase, gorgeous bedrooms and other changes should not be missed. The current owner, the Vicomte Sébastien de Baritault du Carpia, his vivacious wife Rosalind, and their family, actively maintain and promote not only their castle, but also their vintage wines and other interests - as they should: owning what is inquestionably the most famous medieval castle in the southwest of France.

Plan One
Plan Two
(they are VERY similar)


Photos of the Lego Model
Built August 1989
Northwest View
Northeast View
South View


Photos of the Lego Model
under construction in December 2012
On the morning of December 3
the castle is laid out. She will double
the size of the 1989 model.
As the first day progresses the bases
of the six towers begin to take shape
in the deep dry moat.
The base of the 'new' entrance on
the northeast face can also be seen.
On December 4 the castle is
complete up to ground level
Both entrances are sporting their
drawbridge and the courtyard is
By the end of the fourth building
day, much of the ground floor...
...is complete, including the arrowslits
that pierce the walls and towers.
Another view of the courtyard at
the end of December 6, featuring
the well.
I am currently waiting for 100 1x3 tiles
to complete the arrowslits, so work on
day 5 & 6 have concentrated on...
...the 17th century windows that
adorn three sides of the first floor...
and more work on the courtyard
including the interior 17th century
windows and the bell in the corner.
On December 13, 10 days into
construction, towers rise and
decorative battlements appear!
Most of December 14 is spent working
on the roofs, since I've again (!) run out
of pieces for arrowslits.
On the other hand, the roofing is going
very well - woe to me as I get to the
other side of the castle, however!
On December 18 one of the
six towers is complete...
As are the battlements on all
sides of the castle. And it's time
for Christmas in Minnesota!


Photos of the Lego Model
built in December 2012
The château was built with 24,347 Lego pieces (including more than 20,000 light gray Lego pieces). 835 red plates were used for the
roof, plus 208 2x2x10 & 2x16x2 griders for interior support. You may inquire about other numbers if you wish.
Upon return from Minnesota
work resumes on the castle...
...which is happily completed
on my 70th birthday,
January 1, 2013
The only downside is that the
donjon is so tall that photo-
graphing the castle is a problem
due to the fluorescent light
"clouds" above.
Here's a detail of the original
entrance to Roquetaillade,
looking much as it did 700
years ago!
The "new" 17th century
entrance features a lighted
passage to the old donjon
entrance. [See below]
I love the very decorative
yet effective battlements!
The courtyard is small
but efficient with its well...
...and features the bell and
family crest.
The top of the donjon is ringed
with embattled parapets and
the stair turret.
Here is the lighted view into
the new entrance tower
showing the arched doorway
into the courtyard and the
steps into the donjon.
I have built many castles-and
studied many hundreds more,
but never have I encountered
the chop & drop drawbridges
found at this special castle!


Build Your Own
Lego Plan 1989
Cross Section
Lego Plan 2012 Front Elevation Northeast Elevation
Courtyard Views

Other Roquetaillade pages (The first is the official website. It includes several excellent guided tours on YouTube
by members of the family):

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney