(Lot et Garonne)
This is THE castle,The one that you dream about as a child, with knights everywhere. And yet, for the most part it dates back to the beginning of the 16th century: a powerful and mysterious lord, Bérenger de Roquefeuil, struggled all his life to fortify it, at the time of the golden age of the Renaissance châteaux. Towers, turrets, a chicane, a large barbicane,drawbridges and a complete defence mechanism built around artillery… which was never to be used!
In the summer, shows, concerts, theatrical plays, theme workshops for children and entertainment in period costume restore life to the old walls.
For more information visit Bonaguil.org
Château de Cénevières (Lot)
Perched. Looking out over the Lot, Cénevières is startling: a part fortified in the Middle-Ages hides a true Renaissance palace. Ceremonial room, painted ceilings,gallery and an amazing alchemist’s cabinet, which hasn’t yet given up all its secrets. The must: the patio overlooking the Lot. It’s the family who will show you around, and if you’re lucky, Guy de Braquilanges, Monsieur le Marquis in person.
Website Château de Cévenières
Château Le Bousquet (Aveyron)
Mysterious. At 5 km from Laguiole, a magnificent granite and basalt fortress, perfectly preserved : towers, crenellations, machicolation, chapel, secret underground passageways, this château has absolutely all the ingredients for a fairy tale! And even unsolved mysteries, including the one with a couple dressed in brocade costume, who were found immured…
The interior is richly furnished in the Italian renaissance styles and the gothic kitchen is superb!
Château de Vieillevie (Cantal)
A village in the Châtaigneraie, which has something of the south about it with its cherry orchards, and a sturdy château, brimming with history. This one goes back to the 9th century for the oldest parts, the rest being 13th century. The owner will tell you as he shows you past the towers and the main building with its monumental chimneys. In summer, animated tours.
Château de La Baume (Lozère)
Royal! At the heart of the Gévaudan, a marvel of the 17th and 18th centuries all in granite : its inside with a great richness has made it become known as the ‘Petit Versailles’. Well worth seeing: ten rooms with their furnishings, tapestries, paintings, monumental chimneys, inlaid parquet… It’s also one of the highest châteaux in France, at an altitude of 1200m!
A plus : you can rent one of the 3 stargîtes in the outhouses.
More information Chateau de la Baume
Château de Calmont-d’Olt (Aveyron)
Do you know what a Couillard (catapult) is ? Have you ever used a crossbow? Or seen a catapult being used ? And a bombarde ? The Middle-Ages war almost for real, this is at Calmont d’Olt. This 11th Century fortress perched on a basalt peak, still has some beautiful remains : interior, towers, dungeon, main building. The ideal setting to recreate the siege of a castle : demonstrations of military machines, jousting between knights, archery or crossbow, coin minting workshops... And for the children, a real knight’s certificate!
More information on www.chateaucalmont.org
Château du Colombier (Aveyron)
Welcome to the ancestral home to the last 30 Generations of Panouse counts : yes, that’s right they were the founders of the Thoiry wildlife park near to Paris. Le Colombier is its little brother : a 15th century château, with wax characters and period furniture ; and gardens which whisk you back to the heart of the Middle Ages, with its tinctorial plants and its labyrinth of chivalrous love. And of course, our animal friends, those which were known in the Middle-Ages : Messire Brown bear, the Lion king, birds of prey and monkeys. At Mondalazac, near to Salles-la-Source.
Visit website : www.chateau-du-colombier.fr
Château de la Servayrie (Aveyron)
Voice-over, scenographies… A veritable journey through time where you’ll meet a family which will be only too happy to welcome you with stories of a thousand years of history and will share with you their love for their ancestral home.
Château Le Chassan (Cantal)
Family style. To the south of the viaduct of Garabit, at Faverolles, Le Chassan has been home to the same family since the 14th century! It was Jean-François Ponsonaille de Grizols who had the the current building constructed; and his descendants who love to see you admire the monumental staircase, the French style gardens, the 17th century tapestries. In the outhouses, exhibitions featuring the old trades, fossil and mineral collections.
Contact Garabit website
Château de Bournazel (Aveyron)
Italian. Worthy of the châteaux du Val de Loire, Bournazel is a little gem! Built in 1545, this pleasure retreat is a treasure from the Renaissance. The façade of the north wing alone is worth making time to visit : columns, pilasters, friezes, males masks, imaginary characters… a real stone theatre. Visit only in the summer.
Château d’Estaing (Aveyron)
Imposing. Castle of Estaing Earls from the 11th century mixing Romanesque, flamboyant Gothic and renaissance styles, with its restored rooms open to the public starting from the beginning of May.
In September, don’t miss les Médiévales d’Estaing with its street shows and its medieval market.
Château de Valon (Aveyron)
A genuine eagle’s nest overhangs the Truyère gorges, the 12th century fortress still cuts a fine figure despite the ravages of time. The view is unforgettable.
More information on the Carladez Tourist Office
Château d’Alleuze (Cantal)
At a romantic location above the Truyère, a square dungeon, towers and the memory of a bandit, who terrorised the land during the 14th century. Every 2 years, a show brought to life by the village folk.
Château de Larroque-Toirac (Lot)
A fine example of ‘rocas’, these fortifications nestling in the cliff, used during the Hundred Years War. The rocky cliff just behind the castle has some caves which have certainly been used for living, first of all as troglodytic habitations and then probably as a fortified village or "castrum".
Château de Tournel (Lozere)
Imposing ruins above a meander on the Lot : the Tournel was one of the most powerful baronies of the Gévaudan. Two troubadour women wrote there poems in the Oc language back in the 13th century.
Contact for the Chateau de Tournel
Château de Peyrusse-le-Roc (Aveyron)
Two towers all on their own on a granite outcrop : the place cuts a fine figure! The site was a major stronghold. Ruins, a rocky footpath, a medieval garden : enough to do wonders for the imagination.
Information point : Le Rempart, 12220 Peyrusse le Roc
Château de Roquelaure (Aveyron)
At the heart of a little village in the Pays d’Olt, a castle in ruins which almost disappeared and a lava flow !
In fact it’s a basalt outcrop that extends over the hill overlooking St-Côme and the Lot Valley. The view is wonderful. Situated 800 metres in front of the Roquelaure Castle, this impressive field of stones, called “Clapas de Thubiès” disappears into a forest of beech, oak and chestnut trees. On a volcanic peak stands the hamlet of Roquelaure with its feudal castle many times restored throughout the centuries (closed to the public) and its chapel Roman apse and Gothic nave. It has a 16th century death Stake. From behind the chapel there is a splendid panoramic view.
Visit Espalion tourist office
Château de Mercuès (Lot)
You can sleep there, what a joy! This bishops’ residence at Cahors for 7 centuries is now a superb Relais and Châteaux : gardens, luxurious bedrooms, a renowned restaurant, all the French art of living.
Château de La Coste (Lot)
You can have a drink there, but not too many! Or at least you get the chance to find out more about the Cahors appellation : this 12th century fortress, built at Grezels on the orders of the bishops of Cahors – them again! – is home to a small wine museum.
Visit Puy l’Evêque Tourist Office website