The Château de Chalmazel, or Château des Talaru is a castle situated in the commune of Chalmazel, in the Loire département of France. It is located in the Haut-Forez, between the towns of Saint-Étienne and Thiers. Its name in medieval times was Saint-Jehan-des-Neiges. The castle dominates the valley of the Lignon and it was built to be an impregnable fortress on the instructions of the Count of Forez.
Construction of the fortress began in 1231. The work was carried out by seigneur Arnaud de Marcilly to the order of Guy IV du Forez who financed it. The site was covered by forest and almost inaccessible. Initially, it functioned rather as a fortified house, but it was transformed into a genuine medieval fortress, intended to counteract the ambitions of the powerful neighbours of the seigneurie of Couzan, then in the hands of the Damas family, linked to the Germanic emperor.
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