About Cénevières Castle
With an outstanding panoramic view of the Lot River Valley, Cénevières Castle or the Château de Cénevières is a hillside castle in the commune of Cénevières in the Lot département of France. The castle dates from the 13th century and has been significantly altered over the years, notably in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
Cénevières Castle history
According to tradition, the castle belonged to Waïffe or Waifer, the last independent Duke of Aquitaine, and played a role in his war against Pepin the Short in the 8th century AD. The castle stands on a rock and appears as a collection of irregular buildings flanked by towers and terraces. A former rampart wall connects the stables to the Gourdon Tower, which was, perhaps, the keep.
In front of the entrance is a square building called the guard tower or postern, built in 1585. The Gothic openings have been replaced by large Renaissance windows and the defensive walls have been opened with dormers. A columned gallery circles the outside of the grand salon. An apartment has traces of a painted fresco mural showing the flight of Icarus and the chariot of the sun, the legend of Astyanax and the burning of Troy, and the kidnap of Helen.
Cénevières Castle today
Today, the Château de Cénevières is privately owned, listed since 1957 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture, and is open to visitors between April and early November. Visitors are given a guided tour around the chateau (in French or English) including the dungeons, providing a fascinating slice of the area’s medieval history.
When the castle is closed it is often busy as a wedding venue, likely due to its fairytale surroundings.
Getting to Cénevières Castle
Sat beside the Lot River, Cénevières Castle is most easily reached by car just off the D8 and D24 roads. From Toulouse (which has an international airport), the drive to Cénevières is just under 2 hours. There is parking on site.
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