The name Châtel-Argent (argent means 'money' in French) comes from the right granted to the castle to mint coins
The oldest reported evidence of the castle and the mint activity with the Latin word Castrum Argenteum dates back to 1175
Châtel-Argent was not permanently inhabited but only used in times of war. Today, the only remains still standing are the 16 meters tall crenelated tower, the ancient chapel at its feet, and a few other half-fallen walls.
Archaeological excavations revealed that it used to be much larger than that, extending on 6300 square meters and capable of hosting up to 700 men in the castle, which is more than enough to control the central valley
The castle provides an excellent overview from high above the road that crosses the main valley. This monitoring was valuable to prevent the locals and the surrounding villages against invaders
The watchtower was built as an effective fortification. The 8 meters above the ground entrance door was designed to delay the invasion by taking off the scale to access the tower.
The only source of light inside comes from arrowslits in the wall, making the tower a difficult place to besiege.
The castle of Châtel-Argent definitely deserves a visit, not only for its rich history but also for the breathtaking views it offers on the Aosta Valley and towering mountains around.
You can visit this castle during our tours in Aosta Valley