Visit Chateau de Puyguilhem
Chateau de Puyguilhem is located just one km from Villars, in the northern part of the Dordogne department (south-east of Nontron).
It is the setting of the castle that makes it so special, with the forests of the northern Dordogne closing in on the back of the chateau and open meadow to the front.
Chateau de Puyguilhem was constructed in the 16th century and it is similar in style to those of the Loire Valley. The style has more in common with the castles of the Loire Valley (far to the north) than it does with the majority of the Dordogne castles, most of which avoided the 16th-17th century renovations characteristic of the castles of the Loire. However the owner of the castle, Mondot de la Marthonie frequented the French court and was familiar with the chateaux of the Loire Valley, a style he evidently admired.
The style is partly Renaissance and partly medieval. The large round tower on the right has a Medieval air and is linked to the main part of the chateau by one of the two polygonal towers which house the stone staircases.
Building of the castle was in two phases - hence the two styles. From 1514 to 1524 building was largely in the medieval style with distinct Gothic influences. The second phase from 1525 to 1535 added styles similar to those of the Loire Valley, a more elaborate style for example the chimney stacks which are similar to those of Chambord.
Exploring the Chateau de Puyguilhem
There are many of the has typical features of a castle of this type - grand fireplaces, an impressive spiral staircase and perilously steep slate-tiled roofs.
Inside the castle you can see their impressive collection of furniture and tapestries, while outside the grounds of Chateau de Puyguilhem have been attractively restored, and contain some smaller buildings of note, such as the pigeonnier.
The rooms to visit inside include the great hall with two late-16th century tapestries, the kitchen with a deep fire-place for cooking and a bedroom with a four-poster bed. One of the most impressive rooms is the great hall on the first floor which has a superb fireplace carved with scenes of the 'labours of Hercules'.
Chateau de Puyguilhem Opening Times
2 May to 31 August: 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-18.30
1 September to 30 April: 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-17.30
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays from October to March
Places to Visit Nearby
The nearby Grottes de Villars is a wonderful cave full of stalactites and stalagmites.
Photos of Chateau de Puyguilhem
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