About Salignac Castle
The Château de Salignac is the former castle of the Salignac-Fénelon family in the commune of Salignac-Eyvigues in the Dordogne département of France. It dates back to the 12th-16th centuries.
It has been classified since 1969 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
Salignac Castle history
Salignac Castle is located in Salignac-Eyvigues, guarding the valley at the eastern edge of town. Now quiet and tranquil, the Dordogne region has a turbulent history.
The fortress originated in the 12th century when it only consisted of two stone dungeons. The other buildings were gradually added between the 13th and the 16th centuries.
During the Hundred Years War the castle was on the frontier between the English territory and the French territory and changed hands between the two sides on several occasions.
After the fighting subsided, this south-westerly region of France eventually gained more independence back with the establishment of its own parliament. Struggle for power continued amongst the aristocratic landowners. Left in ruins by the war, the castle was rebuilt in the 15th century, before the Wars of Religion in the 16th century.
This castle was refurbished by the Salignac family in the 16th century, resulting in the castle sporting a blend of medieval and renaissance features.
Salignac Castle today
The castle sits above the town and is not open for the public to go inside. Visitors can, however, walk up to the castle to get a closer view of its Lauze roof, dungeons, the square and the round towers that flank the main building. Approaching the castle from the north side offers a great view.
The true age of the buildings can be seen when viewing them from the back and as the extensions that have been added on over the years are visible. Analysing the different styles of building work offers the chance to piece together the true history of the building. Visitors can walk down the footpath that follows the castle wall to the lower fields and take in the dramatic view of the cliff and castle.
Getting to Salignac Castle
The castle is easiest to access on foot. Visitors can park in the main square and walk over to the tourist information building and pick up a map. If it is closed there is a town map outside which shows a suggested route. The route goes around the back of the square along the old medieval streets.