Photo of Chateau de Puyguilhem

Visit Chateau de Puyguilhem

The Chateau de Puyguilhem is located just one km from Villars, in the northern part of the Dordogne department (south-east of Nontron).

Explore the Chateau de Puyguilhem

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.

The 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.

Chateau Puyguilhem

The castle remained in the same family until the 18th century when Chapt de Rastignac inherited the castle. In the early 20th century it had various different owners but was largely abandoned and fell to ruin. In 1939 it was bought by the state and was gradually restored over the next twenty years.

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 the Chateau de Chambord.


The Chateau de Puyguilhem has many of the has typical features of a castle of this type including a 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 Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem Opening Times

October to March: Open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays. 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-17.30

April: Open every day. 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-17.30

May to August: Open every day. 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-18.30

September: Open every day. 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-17.30

Closed January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th.

Prices are 6 euros for adults and 5 euros for children.

Where to visit nearby?

The Chateau de Puyguilhem is in the village of Villars where the nearby Grotte de Villars is a wonderful cave full of stalactites and stalagmites.

Saint Jean de Cole is one of the most beautiful villages of France and well worth a visit.

See also Find Chateau de Puyguilhem hotels

Photos of Chateau de Puyguilhem

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Map of Chateau de Puyguilhem and places to visit


Chateau de Puyguilhem places to visit



Villars is home to a ruined abbey and the Grotte de Villars..

Villars guide
Grotte de Villars

Grotte de Villars

A natural cave of stalactites and stalagmites with some Prehistoric drawings too.

Grotte de Villars guide
La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher is a quiet village with a pretty square.

La Chapelle Faucher guide


Saint Jean de Cole is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Saint-Jean-de-Cole guide
Saint Pardoux la Riviere

Saint Pardoux la Riviere

Saint Pardoux la Riviere is a pleasant village on the edge of the River Dronne.

Saint Pardoux la Riviere guide
Les Jardins Tranquille

Les Jardins Tranquille

A pretty river side garden on the edge of Brantome.

Les Jardins Tranquille guide