Historic site and monument
in Saint-Vidal

Forteresse de Saint Vidal

Emblematic place of Velay, high place of history and extraordinary defensive site, the impregnable fortress of Saint-Vidal was the scene of many clashes.
On the territory of a town that now bears his name, the imposing fortress of Saint-Vidal dominates the Borne valley from the height of its thousand years, during which it has witnessed the history of France: The historians of Velay attest to the departure of a Saint-Vidal to the first crusade alongside the spiritual leader Adhémar de Monteil, bishop of Le Puy. He took part in the capture of Antioch with Héracle de Polignac.

The first written traces attributed to the Saint-Vidal family in a testamentary document date from the 1591th century, when the viscount of Polignac entrusted the seigniorial high justice of the fortress to Hugues de La Tour. The latter will then take the title of Baron de Saint-Vidal. In the XNUMXth century, Hugon de Saint-Vidal considerably enlarged the fiefdoms of his House. In the XNUMXth century, following his father, Antoine II de Saint Vidal, governor and seneschal of Velay and Gévaudan, Grand Master of the artillery of France, further reinforced the monument to transform it into a fortress equipped for the artillery.XNUMX: “May the fortress be demolished and demolished to lose all memory of it”. During the wars of religion that struck Velay, the order to raze the stronghold was given by Henri IV in reaction to the rebellion of Antoine II de Saint-Vidal, leader of the Catholic League. The king's army will never succeed in penetrating the enclosure of the fortress, which remained impregnable. In the XNUMXth century, Richelieu ordered the disarmament of the fortress. In the XNUMXth century, Jean-Joseph marquis d'Apchier, baron of Saint-Vidal, organized the hunt that would kill the famous Beast of Gévaudan. After the Revolution The owners succeeded one another over the centuries, allowing Saint-Vidal to be maintained, making it one of the best preserved fortresses in the region.
After years of being closed to the public, the Fortress reopens its doors in 2018 through various shows in order to make this thousand-year-old building a place of living memory through history and culture.

The gardens of Saint-Vidal: three gardens are to be discovered, a French garden, an Italian garden and a water garden sheltering a mirror basin reflecting the Fortress.

Guided tours in September:
Discover the history of the fortress, its architecture and its important defensive system. Enter the heart of this stone lady and unravel her secrets.
Indoor & outdoor circuit. Accessible from April to November depending on opening hours.

Ambulatory visit “The Memory of a people”
From July 1 to August 31, 45 min session

Tavern: Possibility to eat and refresh yourself inside the Fortress
We speak French


  • Historical patrimony
  • Military heritage
  • Chateau fort

Location details

  • In the countryside


Individual visit services

  • Unguided individual tours permanently

Group visit services

  • Unguided group visits on request


Opening hours from July 01 to August 31, 2024
MondayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
TuesdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
WednesdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
ThursdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
FridayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
SaturdayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
SundayOpen from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Guided tours: every day from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Ambulatory visit “the memory of a people” and “the brasserie of yesteryear”: timetable details on www.saintvidal.com


Reduced price

6 €15 €
10 €15 €
Access to the gardens is free

(- 6 years old)

Payment methods

  • Bank / credit card
  • Cheque
  • Classic Holiday Vouchers
  • Cash



  • Toilets
  • Motorhome parking area
  • Parking
  • Parking nearby
  • Coach parking


  • Theme visit

Activities on site

  • Children's entertainment
  • Evening entertainment
  • Show

Linked offers

On the spot…

From 10 € / adult


Le Bourg
castle square
43320 Saint-Vidal
How do I get there?

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