Castles to visit in Lot et Garonne and southern Dordogne
See individual pages for the following castles:
Gavaudun Castle is a more 'ruined' castle than Biron and Bonaguil, and is much smaller than either of them. It is, however, in a spectacular location in the Gavaudun Valley and well worth a visit. Dominated by its six-storey tower, Gavaudun Castle was built in the 12th century as a defence against troops passing up the Gavaudun Valley (see the Rivers page for more information about this picturesque valley.
For the best view of the Chateau de Gavaudun, cross the river and walk 100 metres up the hill opposite.
Château de Monbazillac, Monbazillac
At Monbazillac castle there is a cave where you can sample the local wines, Monbazillac is renowned for its sweet white desert wine. It is also excellent as an aperitif or served with foie gras.
The château is listed as a historical monument from the XVI century and classified as one of the "Hundred Sites of Remarkable Taste" in France. It offers a combination of the defensive style of architecture of the middle ages and early signs of Renaissance architecture. Inside are various richly decorated rooms as well as exhibits such as the history of local Protestantism in a hall once used for religious meetings.
Chateau de Lanquais, Lanquais
Alone in this list of castles, the Chateau de Lanquais is a fully furnished chateau, Chateau de Lanquais is a finely restored building from the Hundred Years War. A magnificent renaissance Palace was later added, by the same craftsmen who built the Louvre, in Paris. As you would expect, sumptuous apartments, enormous fireplaces and kitchens are all to be seen. 15km from Bergerac in the direction of Sarlat and Monpazier.
Chateau de Duras, Duras
Built in 1308 and converted into a residential dwelling after the end of the 16th century, this chateau is a classified historic monument and has 35 different rooms to pass through, seeing magnificent ceilings, archways etc en route.
In the basement is an ethnological museum with exhibits relating to archaeology, agriculture and wine.
Chateau de Bannes
Set High on a crag overlooking the Couze valley. This chateau replaces an earlier castle destroyed in the Hundred Years' War.
Chateau de Fenelon, Sainte-Mondane (between Sarlat and Souillac)
This chateau is surrounded by a triple enclosure wall and is one of the most beautiful in the Perigord area. It is built on the top of a series of terraces and overlooks the valley of the Dordogne. It is a combination of the Middle Ages, with related weapons and armour, and the Renaissance with collections of renaissance furniture to be seen. The castle is one of the largest buildings in the area to still have a traditional lauze (stone) roof.
Learn more about these and other French chateaux at Castles in France