Chateaux in the Dordogne | Chateaux and Castles to Visit in the Dordogne
It is claimed the Dordogne has over 1000 chateaux or castles – there is everything from defensive chateaux or castles from which the 100 years war was fought to stately homes. The chateaux are famous throughout France and it is worth visiting more than one of the chateaux of the Dordogne as they all have something different to offer.
Chateaux and Castles to Visit in the Dordogne
The Dordogne Valley is often referred to the as the ‘Valley of the 5 Chateaux’ or the ‘Valley of the 5 Castles’. This is because there are five very historic chateaux or castles dating from the 100 years war. The two most impressive chateaux or castles are the famous Chateau Beynac and Chateau Castelnaud. These chateaux are reputed to be the most visited chateaux or castles in France.
The chateaux or castles that make up the five chateaux.
Le Chateau de Castelnaud | Castelnaud Dordogne
The most visited chateau or castle in the South of France dominates the picturesque village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle on the left bank of the Dordogne River. During the Middle-Ages, the mighty English chateau or castle commanded the strategic position at the meeting of the Dordogne and the Céou Rivers, opposite the rival French castle of Beynac. This castle is truly magnificent and transport one back i time.
Chateau de Beynac | Beynac Dordogne
This impressive chateau or castle was destroyed and rebuilt many times. It includes features of many ages, including some rare frescoes of the 15th century. It played a significant role in the 100 years war when the castle was in French hands and battled the English across the river in their strong hold of Chateau Castelnaud.
Read more about Chateau de Beynac | Chateau Beynac in the Dordogne France
Les Chateau Milandes | Dordogne
The castle was built in 1489 by François de Caumont, lord of Castelnaud at the request of his wife, Claude de Cardaillac who wished to live in a more comfortable castle than the feudal castle of Castelnaud. He retained various architectural elements from the Middle-Ages, including turrets, newel staircases, and gargoyles. From the Revolution throughout the entire 19th century, the castle was inhabited, though was barely maintained, before it suffered a serious fire. From 1900 to 1908, a rich industrialist, Charles de Claverie, considerably restored the castle.
Josephine Baker (1906-1975) purchased Les Milandes in 1947 and transformed the interior of the castle, adding all the contemporary comforts: central heating, running water and electricity.Baker’s massive expenses led her into bankruptcy and the castle was sold in 1968 for a tenth of its value. The gardens of the chateau are beautiful and well worth a visit
Chateau Monfort | Dordogne
This castle is privately owned and not open to the public.
Chateau Fayac | Dordogne
This castle is privately owned and not open to the public.
Other Chateaux and Castles of Interest
Le Chateau de Commarque | Les Eyzies Dordogne
The castle was founded during the 12th century on the request of the abbots of Sarlat. At this time the Château de Commarque was only a wooden tower, and its primary concerns were to discourage the ambitions of the Beynac family and to insure the safety of the valley. It was placed at the crossing of two important commercial roads: the road from Périgueux to Cahors and the road from Brive-la-Gaillarde to Bergerac. During the Hundred Years’ War, the castle was captured by the English who held the place for several years. Later during the French Wars of Religion, the castle was taken by the Catholics, due to the Beynacs being Protestant partisans. The castle has been undergoing restoration since 1994. It has been listed since 1943 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. There is a prehistoric cave under the castle.
Chateau Bourdeilles | Brantome Dordogne
The Chateau de Bourdeilles was designed by a woman, Jacquet Montbron. There are two parts to this chateau, a fortress dating from the 13th century, dominated by an octagonal living area and a Renaissance castle with richly furnished rooms such as the golden lounge with a beautiful painted ceiling. There is a prestigious collection of furniture including the bed of Spanish Charles V.
Chateau de Hautefort | Hautefort Dordogne
40km east of Perigueux, Hautefort is one of the most prestigious castles in the Dordogne and indeed in the southwest of France, and is a historical monument. This elegant castle contains paintings and tapestries from the 17th century and is surrounded by formal French gardens and parkland.
Read more about Chateau de Hautefort | Chateau Hautefort in the Dordogne
Chateau de Fenelon | Sainte Mondane (between Sarlat and Souillac) Dordogne
It’s a beautiful castle surrounded by a triple wall and located above the village of Saint Mondane. The roof is still covered with stone slate. Traditional roofing material but more and more scarce due to high costs involved today by holding such roofs. The castle has a collection of armour, weapons and furniture dating back to 15, 16 17 and 18th centuries.
Chateau Biron | Dordogne
The chateau Biron was privately owned by the same family for 24 generations when it was lost in the early 20th c to gambling debts of the then baron. Biron is my favourite chateau, it is smaller than many of the big defensive chateaux of the area and you can get a really good sense of what life was like in medieval times. This lovely castle is currently being painstakingly restored. Chateau Biron is close to the Bastide town of Monpazier.
Chateau de Jumilhac | Thiviers in the Dordogne
In the northeast corner of the Dordogne, is the magnificent Chateau de Jumilhac. The remarkable feature of this castle is the roof which is an stunning array of towers and turrets that led to Jumilhac being described as having the most romantic rooftops in France.
Read more about Chateau de Jumilhac Chateau Jumilhac in the Dordogne
Chateau de Montreal | Isaac.
A nice little chateau and formal gardens.
Map | Chateaux in the Dordogne
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