Sitting on a promontory with sheer drops to the river 150 meters below, the castle and the rest of Najac were naturally positioned to be protected from attack. The village was also completely walled in and divided into several districts separated by fortified gates such as this one. These gates could be closed off under attack, effectively limiting fighting to smaller, more easily defended neighborhoods. By the end of the Middle Ages, 15 such gates were strategically located throughout the long village. This one, the Pique Gate, dates from the 13th century and was in the last line of defense before reaching the castle.
You can see remnants of other gates as you walk though the village.