Château de Castelnaud, a listed historic building overlooking the Dordogne Valley.
The castle is 10km from Sarlat at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and has panoramic views.
During the Hundred Years’ War, the castle was often on the side of the English, but after a siege ordered by King Charles VII in 1442, it was taken by the French once and for all. When the war ended, the castle was given back to the Caumont family who had owned it since 1368 and they reinforced its defences.
During the Wars of Religion, the castle was entrusted to Captain Geoffroy de Vivans, a native of Castelnaud. Nicknamed the warrior, he was feared throughout all of Périgord, a reputation which kept assailants away from the castle during this period.
In the 15th century, new buildings were added to the medieval fortress to improve comfort. In spite of all this, the Caumonts left Castelnaud and went to live in their new castle at Milandes. Abandoned at the time of the Revolution, the castle continued to deteriorate and was even used as a stone quarry during the 19th century.
Listed as a historic monument in 1966, the castle has since undergone spectacular restoration campaigns and has housed the « le Musée de la guerre au Moyen Âge (Museum of War in the Middle Ages) » since 1985.
The museum has more than 250 items of weaponry and ancient armour. Swords, crossbows, pole weapons, chain mail and various types of organ guns are displayed in the castle buildings. The collection is completed by some fine pieces of 14th and 15th century furniture.
Visit the Château de Castelnaud
Limeuil and Cazoulès
The Dordogne Valley between Limeuil and Cazoulès has magnificent scenery, plentiful castles, picturesque villages, splendid gardens and lots of outdoor activities.
Château de Beynac, Château des Milandes, Château de Fénelon
Magnificent panorama from the Cingle de Montfort and view of the castle
Villages of Limeuil, La Roque Gageac and Domme
Gardens : Jardins de Marqueyssac, Jardins de Cadiot, Les Jardins d’eau, Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie
Canoe and gabare (flat-bottomed river boat) trips
Swimming and fishing
Dordogne is reputed to have 1,001 châteaux or castles including Château de Monbazillac, Château des Milandes, Château de Beynac, and Château de Hautefort.
Comments from Gites de France customers
Holiday at Castelnaud « We had a wonderful stay, we loved the surroundings, the peace and quiet and the friendly owner. The gite is very well situated opposite the Château de Beynac and not far from many places of interest. We’d love to come again ! »
Dordogne Valley « This was our first time in Périgord, and it was a great success. Lovely gite, magnificent view of the Château de Beynac at dawn, lots of duck, foie gras and walnuts and a nice area. Loads of castles in the vicinity. A really great holiday. »