Impossible to remain indifferent to its elegant form, a visitor would feel as though towering pepper grinders made from stone have risen right out of the green pastures. Even though he was born five centuries after the Château d’Anjony, Jean Chanaux is as much a part of the fortress as the furniture. The castle stands vigil over the historical site of the village of Tournemire.
Here for the last quarter century he has climbed 150 steps at each visit, four a day from 15 February to 15 November. Visibly proud of his work, Jean, which we will later find out, reveals his true nature to us just as much as the vast rooms without any hesitation, always with a joke on standby. When a telephone rings during the visit, Jean calls out "It’s Joan of Arc who’s sending you a sign!"
Once we have made our way into the lower room, we are struck by the warmth of the interior, which is in stark contrast with the austere shell of the medieval castle. In the chimney, Jean points out two arrowslits which allowed for looking out for approaching enemies and reminds us, never short of anecdotes, the struggle against the English. "A glass of Cahors wine, there’s an Englishman outside!" In the adjoining tower, we are astonished to find ourselves in a small chapel completely decorated with frescos from the 16th Century, and also houses a skillfully sculpted black Virgin statue.
Covered with frescos from the same period, the Salle des Preux presents an even more spectacular site. Our eyes, albeit drawn to many sights in this place, come to rest upon a rare traveler’s chest dresser decorated in gold leaf and encrusted in ivory.
A pass through the armory room and then we begin the climb up into the dungeon tower. We are now 40 meters up and the machicolations offer beautiful views of the valley.