A Castle that has Watched Over Historical Heroes
Built in the 11th century by the Lords of Joux (to whom we also owe the abbey at Montbenoît), the castle would go on to experience some great European conflicts such as the passing of Charles the Bold in 1476, occupation during the Thirty Years’ War in 1639 and surrender in 1674 at the time of the French conquest of Franche-Comté by Louis XIV. In the 18th century, the castle became a prison and saw Mirabeau behind its bars in an attempt to curb his dissolute life, as well as Toussaint Louverture, hero of the struggle for the abolition of slavery who was imprisoned by Napoleon Bonaparte. The Château de Joux is also the scene of legends, including that of the famous Berthe de Joux, whose tiny dungeon can be seen on a visit to the site.
The varied architecture reflects the 1,000-year history of the Château, which is now listed as a historic monument. It includes two towers from the Middle Ages, strongholds from the Vauban era, as well as the modern fort built in front of the castle by Joffre in 1879.
Today: A Chateau for All!
A museum of ancient weapons completes the visit, and offers visitors the opportunity to view weapons from the 18th and 19th centuries, including several rare items. Take advantage of this stunning natural setting near Pontalier and the Lac de Saint-Point by taking a guided tour that will please even the pickiest travelers. Every summer the Château becomes an open-air theatre for the Nuits de Joux night festival.