Château de Castelnaud
Back to the Middle Ages: discovering the castle of Castelnaud!
An article proposed by Roxane
Camping Le Montant is a pampering stay but also surroundings that have character! Today, we are offering you a thrilling adventure towards the Château de Castelnaud, less than a 15-minute drive from the campsite, beside Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. Moreover, we can see the castle well from the campsite!
So, on the program: medieval fortress installed on a rocky outcrop, sumptuous panorama over the Dordogne valley but also a visit to the fortress of Beynac, eternal rival of the castle! We will take advantage of our presence in this part of Périgord to roam the gardens of Marqueyssac and the picturesque village of Roque-Gageac. Hell of a program, isn’t it? Let us go for this family visit! Warning: we are not going to tell you the whole adventure to let the magic happen once there.
Head to Castelnaud castle, this building that watches over the campsite!
The Château de Castelnaud, we have done it dozens of times. But for all of us, we are always intrigued by the atmosphere of the place which takes us back to the 12th century! Little flashback …
Eight centuries ago, the first castle was built before being destroyed during the Crusades. It will be rebuilt identically the following century, serving as a posh and secure home for Lord Nompard de Caumont and his wife. The eventful period that followed will undoubtedly give the castle its present cachet, with its scars, remains and fortifications from another time. By plunging a little into the history of this warlike mecca, for example, I discovered that it had been taken in 1442 by the armies of the King of France, before returning to the Caumont family until the Revolution when it will be abandoned.
Astonishing fact: this majestic castle which exudes warlike arsenal, sieges and military strategies will be converted into… stone quarry in the 19th century! Keep this information in mind during your visit. The image of craftsmen working with stone in such a solemn setting is curious to say the least! It was not until 1967 that a real restoration effort was undertaken, much to our delight. It was the diplomat Philippe Rossillon who bought the castle to restore it to its former glory and open it to the public in 1985. And we thank him every day!
Beyond the architectures of the period, our favourite at Camping Le Montant remains the “War Museum in the Middle Ages”. On some 520 sqm, you will be able to admire more than 250 collectible weapons and armours. Crossbows, chain mail and swords make us want to play knights who have come to save the princess! You will also be able to admire jet machines, some sort of reconstitution of traction or counterweight artillery devices. The Château de Castelnaud has one of the finest private collections of weapons in France. Do not miss it!
And above all : take the time to admire the landscape that awaits you. You will be able to discover the Dordogne valley and its surroundings. It is a delight every time, even for a regular… and we know what we are talking about!
Our advice for visiting the castle with your little knights and princesses!
The Château de Castelnaud has many stairs, sometimes quite narrow, which makes it impossible for strollers to circulate. We recommend that you make the visit with a baby carrier and leave the stroller in the shelter reserved for this purpose, at the entrance.
Remember to visit the castle website or contact them before your visit. Many activities are indeed organized throughout the year during school holidays. You can also ask us for information at reception. We will be happy to help you organize your historic trip to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. Your children will be able to enjoy the visit through several activities offered on site:
- Introduction to archery and crossbow shooting.
- Weapons handling show (impressive!).
- The “Mystère au donjon” (“Mystery in the Dungeon”) investigation will keep them going!
- Discovery of the smithy’s trade.
- Leisure specific to the time of the lords.
You can also give them an unforgettable memory of their visit by going to the castle shop and bookstore: books, models and games will allow them to continue the adventure at the campsite or at home!
Practical information to prepare for your visit
To get to Castelnaud castle from Le Montant campsite, you will take the D57 for only 10 km to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. The chateau is open daily throughout the year. For more information, you can contact the Château de Castelnaud team:
The final word …
This castle dominates the Dordogne and offers from its summit a magnificent panorama of the surrounding countryside. It is a great classic, but we are sure to plunge headfirst into another era: that of armour, dungeons, loopholes and drawbridges! The visit is free, children can run in all directions. Role-playing games with actors in period clothes and the reconstruction of war machines (catapult, trebuchet, etc.) punctuate the visit to the castle. A castle to visit without hesitation!