Rouelbeau Castle, Meinier, Geneva: Quite rightly now termed a “ruin”, lies in the municipality of Meinier, located in the Canton of Geneva. Just last year, extensive archaeological research was completed and the site, including the castle and its grounds, has been opened to the public to wander through.
The Castle was built in 1318 and completed in a year. Originally all constructed from wood, it was rebuilt in stone, after a fire. It consisted of a quadrangle flanked by three angular towers of two floors. (I believe the woods behind the Castle protected the fourth angle.) The main house was positioned in the centre of the quadrangle and was only a single storey. There remains a reminder of a double moat surrounding the castle to which access was gained via two wooden drawbridges. Today a wooden bridge has been constructed for visitors to access the Castle interior.
The site is nestled amongst swamplands which today have been regenerated and boast an increasing population of birds and wildlife.
Today, sitting in the grounds of the ruin, with the sun dropping at my back behind the trees and the shadows drawing longer, it’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for the residents of that time. Without a doubt, we are faced with far less physically stressful factors than envisaged in that bygone era…but are today’s problems any easier to deal with?