Crotés” d’Ar Casté and Breil-sur-Roya medieval castle’s remains

The “crotés” and some remains of the medieval castle are located on the rocky ridge overlooking the village of Breil.

Typology Building

Period Various

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

A dozen masonry vaults, open to the south, located on the site of the former castle of the village of Breil, destroyed in 1814, and on the slope below. These “crotés” (caves in Breillois – local dialect) served as shelters for harvests: in the evening, dried figs and plums covered racks were placed there to protect them from the night dew.

The windy site favored good desiccation of the fruits that were placed there for drying.

A feudal tower was built on the rocky ridge overlooking the village of Breil, in 920 probably shortly after the departure of the Saracens who occupied the valley in the late 9th century.

The medieval fortress was improved in the late seventeenth century.

Following a French occupation of the Roya Valley between 1793 and 1814, by the revolutionary and then imperial troops, the Sardinian power – which had obtained the accession of Genoa in 1818 to the kingdom of Savoy & Sardinia – decided to dismantle the castle of Breil. The population used limestone blocks cut for some of the village’s works.

The current “crotés” locally integrate medieval castle walls’ remains.

Conditions of visit

Trail to the right of the washing house at the top of Ciappera street in the village.
Trail at the top of the castle lane in the village.

Access via two communal paths, limited to valid people because of the pedestrian path (slopes and steps). Overall visibility of the site from the right bank of the Roya.
Permanently open to visitors, under their responsibility


Additional information


  • Botton Charles, Histoire de Breil et des Breillois, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1996.