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Pope John XXII's castle, Chateauneuf du Pape

The remains of a castle overlooking the village and surrounding countryside

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This castle was originally built at the request of pope John XII who was elected in 1316, with the castle starting to be built in 1317. 

Not much remains of it today, but what does remain gives you a good idea of the size and scale of the original buildings. 

The castle consists of a large main building, four towers and three large rooms; the lower room or papal cellar for storing food, weapons and equipment, the large room on the first floor for festivities and the second-floor room which was where the papal apartments could be found.

A garden is laid out around the castle, and a park of about 10 hectares which is cultivated with vineyards, olive and fruit trees.

After the departure of the popes, the castle was no longer maintained. During the wars of religion, it is looted and burned. During the revolution, the castle was sold as national property. The villagers gather to buy it together. 

In 1892 the castle was recorded as a listed building with restoration work taking place in 1906. During World War II, the castle was used as an observation post by the German troops and explosives were stored there. Threatened by the Americans arrived on August 20th 1944, German troops dynamited the dungeon, destroying entire northern part of the castle.

Worth knowing

The castle can be seen on many wine labels on bottles produced in the Chateauneuf du Pape area. 

a castle drawn on a wine label


Visitor comments

  • "A cute little walk up to the castle ruins. Nice views across the town and out to the mountains. Beautiful little town. Enjoy the beautiful little roads leading up too" - Trip Advisor
  • “It's worth the little uphill trek” - Trip Advisor
  • "Nothing much here but the sights from this ruin--a lovely view of the Chateauneuf du Pape region. Lovely countryside." - Trip Advisor