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The Dordogne region of France is reputed to have 1001 castles and chateaux. Many of these castles are open to the public, and several of them are among the principal attraction in the department.
Some of the most popular chateaux in the Dordogne are shown below. As well as these you will often come across villages and small towns with the ruins of an ancient castle in the village centre
Summary of the principal castles
Le Chateau de Commarque, Les Eyzies
Between Sarlat and Les Eyzies there is a fascinating castle: The Chateau de Commarque. The ruins of this castle and fortified village were amazingly hidden under vegetation for 350 years. The site includes towers and houses of knights carved in the rock.
Le Chateau de Castelnaud, Castelnaud
The Chateau de Castelnaud is on the southern side of the river Dordogne but it is a castle so beautiful it deserves a mention here as well. The chateau de Castelnaud contains a very impressive collection of medieval weaponery.
Château de Beynac, Beynac
This impressive castle was destroyed and rebuilt many times. It includes features of many ages, including some rare frescoes of the 15th century. It has a magnificent view of the river. Beynac itself is one of our favorite villages in the region of the Dordogne.
Chateau Bourdeilles, Brantome
The Chateau de Bourdeilles was designed by a woman, Jacquet Montbron! There are two parts to this chateau, a fortress dating from the 13th century, dominated by an octagonal living area and a Renaissance castle (the room designed by Jacquet Montbron) with richly furnished rooms such as the 'golden sumptuous lounge with a beautiful painted ceiling . There is a prestigious collection of furniture including the bed of Spanish Charles V.
Château de Hautefort, Hautefort
A 40km east of Perigueux, Hautefort is one of the most prestigious castles in the Dordogne and indeed in the southwest of France, and is a historical monument. This elegant castle contains paintings and tapestries from the 17th century and is surrounded by formal French gardens and parkland.
Chateau de Fenelon, Sainte Mondane (between Sarlat and Souillac)
It's a beautiful castle surrounded by a triple wall and located above the village of Saint Mondane. The roof is still covered with stone slate. Traditional roofing material but more and more scarce due to high costs involved today by holding such roofs. It has a collection of armour, weapons and furniture dating back to 15, 16 17 and 18th centuries.
Chateau de Jumilhac, Thiviers
If you go as far as possible in the northeast corner of the department of Dordogne, you will find the magnificent Chateau de Jumilhac. The remarkable feature here is the roof - an extravaganza of towers and turrets that led to Jumilhac being described as having the most romantic rooftops in France!
Chateau de Montreal, Isaac
A nice little chateau and formal gardens.
For a different type of historical monument visit the Chancelade Abbey near Perigueux
Photos of the castles of the Dordogne