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Brunhilda the tigress in Bruniquel castle

Fredegonde | Public domain
Castle Brunhilda of Austrasia Fredegund Bruniquel castle

Brunhilda the tigress in Bruniquel?

The tradition says queen of Austrasia Brunhilda lived in castle of Bruniquel… and gave it her name.

Do you remember her? We met her in the castle of Epoisses (Burgundy), with her grand-son Thierry.

But let’s travel through time to discover her life full of adventures...

Tiff in the kingwom

When king Clovis died in 511, his sons and grandsons waged war against each other. So did queens Brunhilda and Fredegonde…

It’s because the kingdom was divided between Clovis’ sons, then between his grandsons Sigebert, Gontran, Caribert et Chilpéric. At that point, our two ladies stepped in.

Brunhilda was the daughter of the Spanish Visigoth king, who married Sigebert, king of Austrasia in 566. Ah, Bunehaut was so pretty! Sigebert’s brother, Chilpéric, became jealous. He wanted his own wife too!

He kicked his first wife, chucked out his mistress and slave Fredegonde and in 567 married Galswinthe, Brunhilda’s sister.

The king ditched Fredegonde, she didn’t like it: soon she killed Galswinthe… Then Chilpéric married Fredegonde! But Brunhilda wanted to take revenge for her sister’s death...

More blood?

Meanwhile, Chilpéric and Sigebert started a war to extend their territory. Chilpéric lost the war. Sigebert took his lands during an official ceremony, pretty humiliating.

Oh, but the fury Fredegonde needed more blood! So the deposed queen killed Sigebert! Then, she put Brunhilda and his kids in jail.

But one of Brunhilda ’s son escaped from the jail thanks to a friend: a son who found shelter in Austrasia where he’d become the future king Childebert II...

And meanwhile Childebert II’s minority, Brunhilda ruled over all Austrasia (Eastern France and lands over the river Rhine). After that we found her at her home in Epoisses, where she provided her grandson Thierry’s regency...

The two shrews' ending

Ah, but, meanwhile, do you know what? Mérovée, Chilpéric’s son from a first union, fell in love with his aunt Brunhilda. Yes he did, that’s true! They even get married, even if it was unnatural…

Mérovée’s father knew about this, cropped his son’s hairs and sent him in a monastery. Brunhilda was exiled in Austrasia… and Mérovée finally committed suicide.

But what about Fredegonde? Well, she multiplied murders, why? Like for instance Childebert II’s murder, Brunhilda’s son, in 595...

That’s how Austrasia kingdom fell into the hands of those two harpies. They tried to put their own sons and grandsons on the throne, killing every one that stood on their way… until the vile Fredegonde died in her bed in 597.

Hey, she was luckier than Brunhilda… This one was finally judge by Fredegonde’s son, Clotaire II, when he took over Austrasia in 613: he charged her of more than 10 murders!

And even if Brunhilda was 70 years-old, they tortured her without respite. They finally tied her leg to a horse’s tail, a horse which then broke into a gallop...

Real horror!

Oh, now, a legend with Fredegonde and Brunhilda: Fredegonde sent a henchmen to kill Brunhilda.

He was uncovered and Brunhilda sent him back with his hands cut. Fredegonde, completely mad, cut his feet and ordered to take him in front of Bruniquel’s door.

He was discovered the next morning and carried to Brunhilda’s bedroom, who finally throw him from the top of a high tower. The legend says at night, we still can hear horrible screams there...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!