Château de Bourdeilles, Dordogne: medieval fortress and renaissance palace

Photo of Chateau de Bourdeilles

Visit Chateau de Bourdeilles

The village of Bourdeilles is an attractive village next to the river to the south-east of Brântome, and is dominated by its château - or rather its châteaux.

Explore the Château de Bourdeilles

There are two parts to the Château de Bourdeilles; the older part which was a defensive fortress and the newer part built as a luxury residence not a defensive castle.

The Chateau de Bourdeilles

Fortress

A sturdy fortress dating back to the 13th century, constructed on a rocky spur and dominated by an octagonal keep. The octagonal keep is 35meters high and has walls 2.4 meters thick and it dominates views of the village.

It is possible to climb to the top and get some superb views of the village of Bourdeilles below.

Renaissance Palace

The 16th century renaissance castle has richly furnished rooms such as the sumptuous 'Salon Doré or 'golden room' with a beautiful painted ceiling. There is a prestigious collection of furniture from the 15-19th centuries, including the gilt Spanish bed of Charles V known as the 'Paradise Bed'.

The rooms to visit include the armoury, a dining room and two bedrooms.

The Chateau de Bourdeilles

Both castles are surrounded by sturdy fortified walls.  Inside the walls next to the Renaissance Palace is a beautiful courtyard garden, lined by trees and with borders full of flowers in shades of blue and yellow.

A little history

In the early days of the château when only the fortress was built it was highly prized for its strategic position and much fought over. It changed from English to French ownership several times over the course of the Hundred Years War.

At the end of this period the Château belonged half to the Counts of Perigord and half to the King of France. An arrangement which worked well until the begining of the 15th century when the counts started robbing and pillaging the surrounding countryside using the castle as their base. The King was forced to intervene and confiscate the castle.

At the end of the 15th century Francois de Bourdeille, a descendent of the original owners of the castle bought it. Later in the 16th century the Renaissance Palace was constructed. One striking feature of this castle is that the project was overseen by a woman, Jacquett de Montbron.

In the following years the château changed hands several times and became a silk worm factory and a location for manufacturing and storing Saltpetre. It fell into disrepair until in 1962 the last member of the Bourdeille family (who were once again the owners of the castle) gave it to the Dordogne department and two benefactors, Mr Santiard and Mrs Bulteau restored the castle and installed their collection of antique furniture. Upon their deaths the Chateau de Bourdeilles was returned to the Department and is now open for visits.

Visit the Château de Bourdeilles

February to March and November to December: 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-17.30 closed Mondays*

April to June and September to October: 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00

July to August: 10.00-19.30

*Opened Mondays during school holidays

Closed in January

Adults 8.30 euros, Children (5-12s) 5.40  and under 5s free

Places to Visit Nearby

The Chateau de Bourdeilles is one of four baronys in the Dordogne. The other three are Biron, Beynac and Mareuil. The chateau de Biron and chateau de Beynac are also fabulous chateaux worth a visit.

Brântome is one of the prettiest towns in the Dordogne and is very close to Bourdeilles.

There are some attractive gardens in Brântome - Les Jardins Tranquilles. These spread out along the edge of the river and are very pretty.


See also:

Map of Chateau de Bourdeilles with places to visit

To visit close to Chateau de Bourdeilles

This page in French: Chateau de Bourdeilles (version Francais)