Culminating at 1050 meters, Murol has an undeniable defensive value. Founded in the 11th century, the castle’s first vocation was to command three important regional roads. Located in the heart of a fertile, prosperous and highly populated region, at the crossroads of essential routes, the seigneury of Murol is a particularly interesting territory.
During the Hundred Years’ War
In the 13th and 14th centuries, the lords of Murol enjoyed an important position in Auvergne but they did not escape the crisis that shook France: the Hundred Years’ War and the epidemics in particular. The castle of Murol was never taken by the English, but the ravages of the plague caused the abandonment of many surrounding villages.
The intervention of Guillaume de Murol
It is in this difficult context that the castle takes again of more beautiful its role of protector of the population. Works are accomplished for its reinforcement in the years 1390 by Guillaume II de Murol. Retired in his lands after a life of adventurous knight, he takes firmly in hand the administration of his goods. During twenty years, he deals with all his affairs himself, enlarges and restores his fortress. He kept two registers in which poems and personal memories are mixed with figures, but also a long autobiographical testament. Thanks to this invaluable testimony, we are now in a position to better understand the role of the lord and to enhance it.
From the 15th to the 20th century
Between the 15th and the beginning of the 17th century, the fortress, property of the Estaing family, continued to adapt to the different military evolutions. Spared by Richelieu’s disarmament policy and then by the French Revolution, the castle gradually lost all residential function, becoming successively a prison, a den of robbers and finally a stone quarry.
In 1889, the castle of Murol was classified as a historical monument. The following year, its last owner, Henri-Guillaume de Chabrol, gave it to the department of Puy-de-Dôme which in turn gave it to the commune of Murol in 1953, which still owns the building today.