Visit Chateau de Castelnaud
Castelnaud is a splendid castle at the confluence of the Dordogne river and the Céou river, between Domme and Beynac (each of these is one of the most beautiful towns in the region.
The castle has magnificent views across the surrounding countryside, and to Castle Beynac standing across the Dordogne River.
Castelnaud castle was built in the 12th century, and has the high drama history that you would expect. It's original owner supported the cathars and got chased away by the Albigensian crusade of Simon de Montfort. Later taking the side of the English during the Hundred Years War, the chateau was a useful base for harassing the neighbourhood and generally making life miserable in the region.
The Middle Ages were largely passed in conflict with their near neighbours at chateau Beynac, and Castelnaud managed to change hands nine times between the French and the English, as each fought to control the region.
The owners, the Caumont family, ended up moving to the much more comfortable Chateau des Milandes just along the valley.
The castle is fascinating both for its history, and the classical defenses which it employs, from the outer wall right through to the inner keep.
The 'museum of war and the middle ages' at the chateau contains a collection of arms and armaments, copies of medieval war machines and various animations of medieval life throughout the day. There are full sized models of medieval weapons of war such as trebuchets, perriers and mangonels and during the summer there are guided tours explaining the art of medieval warfare. These are available in English.
In July and August it is possible to make night time visits on weekday evenings.
Castelnaud is the most visited chateau in south-west France - both for the castle itself, and for the associated displays in the museum.
Chateau de Castelnaud, Opening Hours
The Chateau de Castelnaud is open every day throughout the year.
February, March, October, 1-11 November: 10.00-18.00
April, May, June, September: 10.00-19.00
July, August: 09.00-20.00 and 20.15 for night-time visits
12-30 November, December, January: 14.00-17.00 (open 10.00-17.00 in the Christmas holidays)
Visits last about an hour and are non guided. Adult prices are 8.40 euros.
Places to Visit Nearby
Be sure to visit the village of Castelnaud whilst you are here, it is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Beynac and La Roque Gageac are both nearby and these too are classified most beautiful villages of France. The chateau de Beynac is also an impressive chateau to visit.
You can also visit the Dordogne castles and chateau at Dordogne castles and chateaux, now with an interactive map
Map of Chateau de Castelnaud & places to visit nearbyChateau de Beynac 0km
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac 2km
Les Gabares 3km
La Roque-Gageac 3km
Chateau des Milandes 4km
Le Clos des Sources 6km
Chateau de Montfort 8km
Saint Cyprien 9km
Ceou Valley 12km
Les Eyzies 13km
Coux et Bigaroque 14km
Font de Gaume 14km
Grotte du Grand Roc 14km
This page in French: Chateau de Castelnaud (version Francais)