Castles and ramparts

    • Beynac-et-Cazenac façades

    Beynac-et-Cazenac lies 10 kilometres southwest of Sarlat, on the banks of the Dordogne, and boasts an imposing castle, once besieged by Richard the Lion Heart, around which "lauze" stone slab-roofed houses with their creamy façades are built.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Dordogne
    • Castles and ramparts : Beynac Castle
    • Gastronomy : Geese and ducks
    • Unusual sights : The Archaeological Park

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    • Blesle vue du pont

    Blesle owes both its existence and its expansion to the Benedictine abbey founded there in the 9C. Although all that is left of the stronghold built by the Barons of Mercoeur is the keep, the towers and the outer walls, half-timbered houses and carved doors still bear witness to the village’s medieval past.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Towers, outer walls, keep

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    Between Rochefort and the Ile d’Oléron, the fortified city of Brouage rises from the marshland. As an ancient port it thrived on the salt trade, which today has given way today to oyster farming. However, it is equally renowned for the fortifications ordered by Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century; behind its girdle of ramparts, houses typical of Charente’s architectural style rub shoulders with the Halle aux Vivres (a military food store), gunpowder stores, forges and underground quays.  The Canadian stained-glass windows in the church remind us that Brouage was the birthplace of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec…

    By Themes:

    • By the waterside: the marchlands.
    • Castles and ramparts: the ramparts (16th C.)
    • Gastronomy: mussels and Marennes' oysters

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    • Brousse-le-Château façades bord de rivière

    50 kilometres south of Rodez, where the Tarn joins the Alrance, the towers of a medieval castle overlook the village of Brousse to which it gave its name. An old gothic bridge spans the Alrance and leads to the flagstoned streets and the 15C fortified church.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Alrance
    • Castles and ramparts : The Castle

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    • Bruniquel rue et façades

    Stone-built houses or wooden ones with corbelling or half-timbering, turrets, twin-arched or mullioned windows, arched doors, and flower-bedecked streets are just some of the many features that make Bruniquel so appealing. This former stopping place on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela where the Quercy, Albigeois and Rouergue areas meet has also managed to preserve both castles and ramparts.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The Castles

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    • Camon restanque

    Camon sprang up as a result of a 10C abbey, later to become a fortified priory, being built in the hollow of a small valley in Ariège, where the River Hers makes a loop. Today, visitors enter into the village through the old arched door of the church and discover the signs of Camon’s religious past and its red curved roof tile houses.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : The abbey and church
    • Castles and ramparts : The fortifications

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    • Capdenac-le-Haut maison des Gardes

    Within a stone's throw from Figeac, the medieval fortress of Capdenac-le-Haut is built high up more than 110 meter above a meander of the Lot river. The village is also one of the most important Gallo-Roman site of the region, known as the seat of the last Caesar's battle in Gaul.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : dungeon, fortified doors and ramparts
    • Panoramas : Views of the Lot valley from the dungeon and the terrace of Sault
    • Unusual sights : Caesar's Fountain and Gallic well

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    • Cardaillac vue haute

    Just a few kilometres from Figeac, at the gateway to Ségala country, Cardaillac bears the name of one of the most powerful families in Quercy. The village’s distinctive feature and all that is left of medieval times is the fort with its two square towers and a round tower that provides a panoramic view of the village.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The fort and the towers

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    • Carennac chemin verdoyant et maisons

    On the banks of the Dordogne, Renaissance houses with sculpted windows and brown roofs are clustered around an 11C Cluniac priory where French writer and prelate Fénelon once lived. Near the Romanesque church and its cloister, the Château des Doyens invites you to discover the treasures of this Pays d’Art et d’Histoire-labelled region to which Carennac belongs.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : The church, cloister and the sculpture depicting Christ’s entombment
    • By the waterside : The river Dordogne
    • Castles and ramparts : The "Château des Doyens"

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    • Castelnaud-la-Chapelle château

    Within 10 kilometers from Sarlat, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle overhangs the confluence between Dordogne and Céou rivers in an exceptional landscape opposite the beautiful villages of Beynac-et-Cazenac and La Roque-Gageac. Well known for its two castles - the medieval castle superbly restored with its Museum of War in Middle Age and the Milandes castle, former property of Joséphine Baker -, the village itself and its typical Périgord architecture is also worth discovering.

    Themes :

    • By the waterside : Dordogne and Céou rivers
    • Castles and ramparts : Castelnaud castle, Milandes castle
    • Panoramas : Views of the Dordogne valley from Castelnaud castle

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