Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Chateau de Foix, France

Chateau de Foix is located slightly off the route from Revel to Ax 3 Domaines, covered by the Tour de France 2010 on the 16th day. This was the 184.5 km (115 miles) Stage 14 of the race, a severely testing mountain stage with a 15.5 km and 7.9% gradient Category H climb followed immediately by a 7.8 km and 8.2 % gradient Category 1 climb. The stage was won by Christophe Riblon but the rest of the standings stayed as they were.

The castle was built on existing 7th century fortifications and there are documented records of its existence from the 10th century. The round tower is the most recent addition, built in the 15th century, while the square towers were probably built in the 11 th century.They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.

In 1626, Cardinal Richelieu abolished the position of Constable of France and ordered all fortified castles to be razed, excepting only those needed to defend against invaders. Thus, he stripped the princes, dukes, and lesser aristocrats of important defences that could have been used against the King's armies during rebellions. As a result, Richelieu was hated by most of the nobility. But, Chateau de Foix alone was exempted from the destruction.

The castle's location high over a rocky projection dominated the region and its impregnable walls ensured that, though it was attacked many times, it was taken only once, and even on that occasion only due to the treachery of a member of the family.

Since 1930 Chateau de Foix has functioned as a museum concentrating on the history of the region Ariege, the history of the castle, and life during the period of the Counts.

My sketch is based on a photograph by Muhammad Ector Prasetyo, and is 12.5 cm x 9.5 cm (4.75" x 3.75").


  1. Another lovely sketch. How much time do these take - this series of sketches particularly?

  2. Thank you.
    On an average I spent a couple of hours each for this particular series. As you are probably aware, getting the perspective and proportions right is more difficult when the drawing is small. I therefore spent a lot of the total time on getting this aspect right.