Coucy Castle - Chateau de Coucy
Chateau de Coucy or Coucy Castle is located in the Aisne department in France. The impressive ruins of the castle are located in the center of this French region. The capital of Paris is about 120 km away to the northeast.
None other fortification can match the solid construction of Chateau de Coucy, because it was the largest fortress, not only in France but across Europe.
The first building at this location was built in 920, and probably was a wooden tower with a stone foundation. It had housed the Archbishop of Rheims and the main aim was to defend the territorial of Coucy from enemy invasions.
The remains of Coucy Castle such as we see them today are from the palace, erected by Enguerrand III in 1220. To highlight its impact and to show their wealth, this nobleman spent an enormous amount to build his castle. The ruler of the fortress became famous with the phrase, I'm not king, I am not Prince or Duke, but I'm the ruler of Coucy !
At that time the French Monarchy was trying to expand and strengthen its influence, a fortress built by the feudal lord was in itself a challenge to the monarch. Its size can reach 20 meters, which automatically makes it a major competitor for Louvre royal castle, which is only a hundred kilometers from Coucy.
Coucy became most impressive due to its defensive tower with dimensions not seen in any other fort in the 13th century. Reaching the altitude of 54 meters, diameter of 31 meters and the thickness of the walls reached then the record of 7, 5 meters. The Grand Tower was a symbol of power for Knights for about 7 centuries until the First World War. During a cold night in March 1917 the German army sets 27 kg of explosives, which put to the ground four defensive towers of Coucy Castle.
This act shocked the public to such an extent that in 1917 politicians declared the destruction of Coucy monument as barbarism. 5 years later after the war reparation serves to restore part of the foundations and walls of Coucy, but they are raised slightly to the left of the original castle.