Castle of Montmirail (12th century)

Movie The Visitors Jean-Marie Poiré (1993)
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In the year of our Lord 1123, Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno) returns home to his castle to marry Frénégonde (Valérie Lemercier), but unfortunately a tragic event occurs.
Château Comtal de Carcassonne - Credit: ElPadawan on flickr

“Look at the castle. Mortecouille! He’s swelling like a roach. He’s wearing a headdress!”

Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno)

A love story

After saving the life of King Louis VI, Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno) is promised to marry Frénégonde de Pouille (Valérie Lemercier), the daughter of Duke Fulbert.

So he returns home, to his castle, accompanied by his men and his faithful squire Jacquouille la Fripouille (Christian Clavier).

Godfrey of Carcassonne

Just like its 20th century version where the castle became a hotel run by a descendant La Fripouille, the 22nd century version of the castle of Montmirail is not the castle of the same name located in the Sarthe.

In reality it is the castle of Carcassonne. Jean-Marie Poiré used this Carcassonne monument to represent the home of Godefroy.

The Aude Gate was also used for the scene where the knights return to the castle.

US Carcassonne in the credits

The historic center of Carcassonne is not the only place used during the shooting. The scene in which Godefroy shoots an arrow into the Duke’s forehead was filmed in the countryside surrounding the city.

A sequence shot where we follow an arrow on 100 meters which posed many problems to the director.

How to make a camera move on rails without seeing its last on the screen? The answer is provided by the US Carcassonne, the city’s rugby club. Jean-Marie Poiré filmed the sequence backwards, asking the rugby players to remove the rails as they went along so that the illusion was perfect.


For the most observant, we can see a calendar indicating that Godefroy and Jacquouille arrive on October 27, 1992 of our time.

Scene in front of the castle of Montmirail in the 12th century – Credit: Gaumont
Scene in front of the castle of Montmirail in the 12th century – Credit: Gaumont

Château Comtal

The Comtal castle of Carcassonne is an essential monument of the city. A vestige of the feudal power overhanging the city…

Having begun its construction around 1130 by Bernard Aton IV Trencavel, the Comtal castle had for first objective to replace an old primitive castle.

Over the years, the castle will be enriched with the arrival of new monuments. But when it falls in the royal domain between 1228 and 1239, it will be completely reshaped to become a real fortress.

The place will be used as such until 1659, when the Treaty of the Pyrenees is signed. It was then abandoned until the 19th century when a restoration project was started.

Today, it is one of the places not to be missed in the Aude.

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By Damien Biju

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Passionné par le cinéma, les séries d'animations et les jeux vidéo, il rêve secrètement de voyager à travers le monde à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture à bord d'une Delorean.

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