Château de BeynacChâteau de Beynac
©Château de Beynac|Penn Graphics

Explore the Périgord, Land of majestic castles

The Périgord is synonymous with castles!

As a family or with friends, grab your camera and step back in time as you visit these majestic masterpieces that stand as witnesses to the past.

Patrimoine Beynac Sd Dan Courtice 2016 (1)Patrimoine Beynac Sd Dan Courtice 2016 (1)
©Patrimoine Beynac Sd Dan Courtice 2016 (1)|Penn Graphics

Discover the castles of the Périgord,

guardians of the region’s history

It is said that there are 1001 castles in the Périgord.

You might believe the legend or not, but in any case, you can’t come to the Périgord without visiting some of these marvels of times past.

Perched on rocky outcroppings, guardians of the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers, the castles of the Périgord are treasures of its heritage, and they are not to be missed!

Trace back through history

by visiting the castles of the Périgord

As you tour the castles of the Périgord, the local guides will reveal to you the secrets of this region, which saw the blossoming of fortresses for defensive reasons, from the battle against the Cathares’ heresy to the Hundred Years’ War to the Wars of Religion. In all, more than 300 years of conflict!

Of all the wars, it is the Hundred Years’ War that most marked this region. To best understand its history, you have to go back to 1337, when Eleanor of Aquitaine married the heir to the English throne and gave part of the Périgord to the English. The Dordogne River was the symbolic frontier between the two enemy kingdoms. On the French side, the Château de Beynac faced off with the Château de Castelnaud, then in British possession… Imagine the scene!

If you should pass in front of the Château de Marqueyssac, consider that it was built by the Lord of Beynac as an outpost to watch over his rival. It is clear that the Lord of Castlenaud replied in kind when he built the Château de Fayrac. The conflict in the region was only brought to an end with the Battle of Castillon in the 15th century. This is a passionate history to discover as a family!  

Observe the architecture, a witness to the past

While the Hundred Years’ War did leave its mark on the Périgord, guides will tell you that the centuries that followed transformed the architecture and appearance of the fortresses: the fortifications expanded, the walls thickened, and square towers grew round.

To see a good example of transformation, have a look at the Château de Puymartin, which grew more open and took on more windows.  If you love history and architecture, get ready for a treat: every fortress in the area is guaranteed spectacular!