Views from a castle — Part 1

Château Castelnaud is one of the five castles in the Valley of the Five Châteaux — one of outstanding features of the Greater Daglan Area. In previous postings, I’ve shown views of Castelnaud from below, at the level of the Dordogne River. Today let’s do it the other way around — and show what it’s like at the top.

For these photos, I have to thank daughter Anne, son Michael, and Michael’s partner Vanessa, who were visiting with us  in late August and early September. While I drove them up to château, they did the tour on their own, while I sat in an outdoor restaurant and sipped Perrier and coffees. We’ll start with a look at the hamlet that lies around the foot of the château itself:


The hamlet below the château .

One of the great features of Château Castelnaud is the array of armaments it contains. Inside the castle, there’s an astounding medieval war museum — one look at some of the brutal weapons will make you very, very glad you weren’t a soldier in the Middle Ages. And then there are the catapults:


Catapults ready to fling heavy things.

Here’s a close-up of one of them:

Catapult close-up

A close-up of a catapult.

Here’s another view, showing the interior of the château compound (you’ll get an idea of the scale of the place when you see how small the people look):


Within the outer castle walls.

This is another view, looking almost straight down from the top of the château:

Looking down

Looking down into the compound's interior, from the château's top.

Looking outward from the top of the château, you’ll be dazzled by the view — once you go beyond being dazzled by Anne’s hair:

Anne with view

Looking outward to the Dordogne River.

And here’s another view, clearly showing the bridge that crosses the river at the Tournepique, below the château. At the left, the road leads up to Sarlat; to the right, the road heads down to Daglan.

Bridge over Dordogne

The bridge spanning the Dordogne, at Castelnaud.

To close, here’s a view looking out from Château Castelnaud towards another of the Five Châteaux — in this case, the former home of Richard the Lion Heart. It’s Château Beynac, probably the most imposing of the castles in the area. Tomorrow we’ll visit Beynac, and see how its views compare.


In the distance, Château Beynac.

This entry was posted in Life in southwest France, Tourist attractions. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Views from a castle — Part 1

  1. Rob West says:

    Yes, we also toured the castle last fall and found it to be a marvel. It struck me how old the place is, and it is only recently (last 150 years) that it was considered an historical site. Before that it had been slowly dismantled over many many years for the stonework, which was easier to take from an exisiting castle than to actually carve it out of a mountainside.

  2. Loren says:

    Yes — pretty amazing. Thanks, Rob.

  3. Very much a fan of your site and look forward to visiting the area in September. To the castle, and Le Tournepique, I shall run!

  4. Loren Chudy says:

    Thanks so much, Fernweh Friday! I’m sure you’ll have a great time here.

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