Aquitaine is home to a number of stunning castles, and today, there are a number of picturesque chateaus that are that are dotted amongst the region’s famous vineyards. Take a step back through history by viewing the scenic Château d’Agonac, Château d’Airvaul, and Andone Castle.
While first-time visitors may just want to hit the highlights, for those who wish to delve deeper into fortresses in Aquitaine there are other unique sites to explore that shouldn’t be missed, such as such as Château d’Angles-sur-l’Anglin, Château de Barbezieux, and Château de Beauville.
The Château d’Agonac is a former castle, converted into a château, in the commune of Agonac in the Dordogne département of France.
The early fort, Castrum Agoniacum, residence of the Bishops of Périgueux, was erected around 980 by Bishop Frotaire de Gourdon to defend Périgueux from the Normans.
The Château d’Airvault is a medieval castle situated in the French commune of Airvault in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is considered to be “one of the rare remaining specimens of military architecture of the 11th century”.
From this time, there remains the enceinte with its two uncrowned towers and its keep whose well-preserved silhouette marks the urban landscape. The 14th- and 15th-century buildings inside the enceinte replaced the original buildings.
The Andone Castrum is a ruined fortification in Villejoubert, Charente, France and dates from the 11th century.
The site was occupied by an Iron Age necropolis, and then by a Gallo-Roman villa which was abandoned in the 4th century. Andone Castrum was most likely occupied from around 970–980 until 1028. The site may have been abandoned in part due to lack of a water supply or to the cramped interior.
The Château d’Angles-sur-l’Anglin is a ruined castle in the commune of Angles-sur-l’Anglin in the Vienne département of France.
A motte was here before the present castle. The earliest records date from 1025. The keep and vault were constructed in the 12th century. In the 15th century, the keep was altered for bishop Hugues de Combarel who also built the new castle.
The Château de Barbezieux is a castle situated in the commune of Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire, in the Charente département of France.
It dates from 1453, though an earlier castle, of which no trace remains, stood on the site from the early 11th century. The imposing fortress has been listed since 1913 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The Château de Beauville is a castle consisting of a late 16th century home which has a wing whose foundations date from the old castle at the end of the 13th century.
It is located in the commune of Beauville in the Lot-et-Garonne département of France, on a rocky promontory defending the village.
The 12th century Château de Beynac is a castle situated in the commune of Beynac-et-Cazenac, in the Dordogne département of France.
The castle is one of the best-preserved and best known in the region.This Middle Ages construction, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River.
The 12th century Château de Biron is a castle in the commune of Biron in the Dordogne département of France.
Biron was seized by the Cathars in 1211 and retaken by Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester the following year. The Plantagenets held it at times during the 14th and 15th centuries.The present château bears additions over the centuries that make a picturesque ensemble: a twelfth-century keep, sixteenth-century living quarters, a chapel and vaulted kitchens.
Château de Cognac, also known as Château de Valois and Château François, is a castle in Cognac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. Fortifications have existed since Hélie de Villebois, 1st Lord of Cognac built a fort around 950. Around the year 1000, Itier and Arnaud de Villebois settled on the site of Cognac and founded their dynasty there. Around 1200, the castle was rebuilt in stone, on the Charente River bank facing the docks and walls built to circle the town.
Due to a lack of maintenance, the castle became ruinous during the late 17th century and 18th century. During the 19th century, renovations caused the destruction of sections of the castle, however important restoration work of conservation and restoration, was also undertaken and it now a popular museum.
Château de Bonaguil is a castle in the French commune of Saint-Front-sur-Lémance. The castle was the last of the fortified castles. It was built in the 13th century, but was entirely restructured at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. by Bérenger de Roquefeuil, who added all of the defensive improvements of the end of the Middle Ages.
A marvel of military architecture covering 7500 m2, incorporating the latest developments in artillery (both for defence and in adapting the defences for protection against it) it was, however, obsolete when completed. It was never attacked.