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Carlux is a small village in the east of the Dordogne department near to Sarlat and Souillac. It is a very pretty village with the ruins of a castle in its centre along with a medieval halle and charming stone houses with the steep tiled rooves traditional to the Dordogne department. Carlux is also the home of the beautiful Jardins de Cadiot.
North of the Dordogne comment: Carlux is not a major tourist destination but if you are in the area it is worth visiting as it is a very pretty village and has a few notable monuments.
The castle which dominates the centre of the village was built in the 12th century probably on the remains of an earlier 10th century structure. Its large tower was a look out tower to warn when enemy troops were approaching.
During the Wars of Religion the castle was partially destroyed and then rebuilt on several occasions and then in 1481 Lous XI ordered it to be destroyed. The ruins were then used defensively during the Hundred Years War and some rebuilding took place. In 1593 after a 3 week siege the castle fell to the troops of the King of France and this was the last time the castle played a defensive role.
By the end of the Hundred Year War the area was decimated and Carlux which was too far from the main routes of communication never regained its past prosperity. Some renovations of the castle have been made though and you can now visit the inner courtyard and see the keep.
The church of Saint Catherine on the edge of the village centre was built in the 14th century during the Hundred Years War. Because of this it is simple in style both on the exterior and the interior.
The church has been built half way up the hill on the side of the village centre and along with the other buildings with their steep rooves and stone walls it presents an attractive aspect to the village.
The halle with its stocky stone columns is another notable building. It looks medieval but was in fact built in the 19th century. You will also notice a very tall chimney in the village. Carlux is one of the rare villages in the area to have a 'Sarrazin chimney'. This tall, thin chimney was lit during times of epidemics to warn visitors to the village to come no closer!
As well as historical wars and epidemics Carlux suffered a more recent tragedy during the Second World War. On 8 June 1944 the Resistance errected a barrier across the main road at Rouffillac, which jointly belonged to Carlux and a neighbouring commune, in order to prevent the Germans from travelling to Normandy. A German soldier died in the ensuing fire and in retaliation the Germans set fire to Roufillac and killed 28 people, 16 of them civilians. There is a memorial to them on the RD703.
Where to visit nearby?
Carlux is home to the beautiful Jardins de Cadiot. Definitely worth a visit.
On the edge of the village there is an artisan chocolatier who sell delicious chocolates and specialise in nuts and dried fruits coated in chocolate. This is called the Domaine de Béquignol.
The magnificent medieval town of Sarlat is just 14 kilometers. It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval towns in France.
Garden lovers will be pleased with this area where you can visit the stately Jardins d'Eyrignac with hundreds of wonderful topiaries or the Jardins d'Eau de Carsac-Aillac with a fabulous aquatic labyrinth.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.