About Bourdeilles Castle
The Château de Bourdeilles is a castle located in the commune of Bourdeilles in the Dordogne département in southwestern France, and combines 2 historical eras. A castle may have existed at Bourdeilles in the 9th century, but the oldest parts of the current castle date from the early 14th century.
Built on a rocky outcrop, Bourdeilles Castle consists of an octagonal keep, connected to a two-story building of which only the outer walls remain. Next to the old castle stands a Renaissance palace was built at the end of the 16th century boasting one of the most extensive furniture collections of the Aquitaine region.
Since 1919, the château has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
Bourdeilles Castle history
Bourdeilles Castle was built atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dronne River, its earliest origins dating back to the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, the defensive fortress was coveted by the warring French and English nobility, and Bourdeilles Castle passed from the kingdom of France to the English Crown before being retaken by the French knight, Duguesclin.
The Renaissance period at Bourdeilles Castle was characterised by luxury and beauty: a new building was constructed besides the fort, in stark contrast to the sturdy edges of the military 13th century castle.
While the castle featured machicolations, crossbow slits and a 35 metre-high octagonal keep, the Renaissance living quarters were modelled on Italian Palazzos. Full of light and richly decorated, the palace reflects the excesses of the late 16th century Second French Renaissance.
Bourdeilles Castle today
Today, Bourdeilles Castle is open to visitors between 10am and 6pm for the standard ticket price of 8,80€ and offers tours of an amazingly well-preserved historical castle that overlooks an impressive labyrinth garden.
Due to the keen passion of the patrons to furnish their Renaissance rooms with exquisite furniture, many of these items dating between the 14th and 19th centuries have been preserved. The decor from the 17th and 18th centuries is also largely intact, transporting visitors into the wealthy past of Bourdeilles Castle.
Getting to Bourdeilles Castle
If driving from Bordeaux, take the A89 and D709, which takes around 2 hours. There is parking at Bourdeilles Castle. From the nearby town of Perigueux, the castle is a half hour drive via D939.