The elegant Château de Hautefort sits atop a rolling green hill, offering superlative views of the Lourde and Beuze valleys in the Dordogne. The chateau has a long and rich history, with records showing that the earliest parts of the building date back to the ninth century, when it was the residence of a number of Knights of the Crusade. The architecture of the chateau has undergone many renovations over the centuries, as the need for fortifications lessened, giving over to aesthetic modifications, particularly in the form of symmetry.
Tour of the Chateau
Today visitors can explore many parts of the chateau, from the Great Hall with it’s monumental chimneys carved in 1661 to the private chambers occupied by members of the monarchy, and more recently the Queen Mother in 1978. The chateau is packed full of 17th and 18th century ornaments, paintings and furniture, making it a history lover’s heaven.
The tour also allows access to the private chapel in the chateau grounds as well as the network of secret passageways underneath the castle. These lead to a number of underground rooms of considerable dimensions, some of which have been cut into the rock, and are situated beneath the rooms level with the courtyard. According to old inventories, here were underground kitchens, rooms used by the chateau staff, several storerooms and cellars, as well as wood stores, laundry rooms and bakeries, necessary for the daily needs of the chateau. These offer a fascinating viewpoint into the working life of a grand chateau, where servants toiled behind the scenes, seemingly invisible the privileged classes.
The Gardens of the Chateau de Hautefort were redesigned in 1853 by the Comte de Choulot, one of the most well-known landscape designers of his time. The parks were designed after the popular English estates of the time, with conifer woods and long winding paths. An Artificial lake was dug and a number of beautiful stone follies make this garden a pleasure to explore.
The Chateau de Hautefort has had a long relationship with film, having been chosen as the set for a number of blockbuster movies from directors all around the world. Inside the chateau you will find a real movie set, installed in the bedroom of King Louis XIV, offering you the chance to try your hand at being a director or cameraman! There is also an exhibition celebrating 50 years of film at the chateau, perfect for film buffs.
For more information, visit the Chateau de Hautefort website here.
Château de Hautefort – Le Bourg – 24390 Hautefort
Tel. : 05 53 50 51 23