Barbarossa's tower overlooking the circulade village of Gruissan, Aude, Languedoc

Barbarossa's tower at Gruissan, Aude, south France

The ruins of Barbarossa's tower, overlooks the circulade village of Gruissan, and beyond that the new port with Marina, and again beyond that, across the Etang de Graziers, the sandy beaches of Gruissan Plage, with the ever beckoning Mediterranean beyond. The castle provided protection to Narbonne, and was owned by the Bishop of Narbonne.

It was the scene of many a battle, from the days of the Cathar persecution, to raids by pirates, and the wars of religion. By the sixteenth century the castle fell into disrepair, and its stones used to construct the village that surrounds it.

In the mid distance is Gruissan Plage, that for the most part was built prefabricated in the Haute Savoie, and then transported to the village, where it became the houses on stilts - made famous in the film by Jean-Jacques Beineix "37°2 le matin" also known as "Betty Blue"

3.15 pm April 6 2014.

A Languedoc page for contemplation and inspiration for the South France Guide