About Sauveterre Castle
Constructed at the end of the 13th century by Edward I of England on one of the principal routes between Périgord and Agenais, the Château de Sauveterre is a castle in the commune of Sauveterre-la-Lémance in the Lot-et-Garonne département of France.
History of Sauveterre Castle
Sauveterre Castle, also known as Château des Rois ducs (The Castle of the King Dukes) is located on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the valleys of the Lemance and the Sendroux. It is not far from Perigord Noir (which roughly corresponds to the Dordogne department) and Quercy (which roughly corresponds to the Lot department.)
During the Hundred Years’ War, it became a centrepiece in the Anglo-French war of attrition. It was badly burned in 1789 during the French Revolution, from which it never fully recovered as a structure.
It was bought by the aviator Jean Mermoz in 1936, less than a year before his death, after he had seen the castle from the air. After his death, the castle was abandoned and slowly became ruined.
Sauveterre Castle remained the property of the commune until it was sold in the 1980s. The privately owned castle in its entirety, as well as its grounds and moat, were classified as a monument historique in 2003.
Sauveterre Castle Today
What remains today is a ruin of the castle, which is easily accessible by taking a short walk through the historic centre of the pretty Sauveterre-la-Lemance.
For those who wish to explore more history of the surrounding area, nearby is the 13th-15th century Château de Bonaguil. Château de Bonaguil is a castle in the French commune of Saint-Front-sur-Lémance. A marvel of medieval architecture, the castle is one of the last – and most beautiful – fortified castles built in France during the Middle Ages, and today is a popular tourist attraction.
There is much to do in the village; as a place which was involved with the Hundred Years’ War, Sauveterre-la-Lémance seduces as much by its natural setting as by its architectural and historical heritage. Foodies will also enjoy the culinary specialties of the region, while its natural beautiful landscape is popular among outdoorsy types.
Getting to Sauveterre Castle
From the centre of Sauveterre-la-Lémance, the castle is reachable in around 15 minute by foot via La ville road. Via the same route, it takes about 3 minutes by car.