Sunday, 13 April 2008

Château de BONAGUIL

Bonaguil_Panorama2

Today we visited what must be one of the most under-publicised castles in the Dordogne, Château de Bonaguil, only just 18kms from home.

We stumbled upon this castle a few weeks ago after taking the long way home from the Fumel supermarket. Even then I realised this was a substantial castle but today I was still totally blown away by what we found. Beynac's reign as Biscuit Bunch's "castle supreme" was seriously threatened and it only narrowly survived the test.

The two castles couldn't be more different:  Nearly all of the younger Beynac is still intact whereas Bonaguil is only a shell of its former self, most of the site has fallen to ruin through either the pillaging of revolution or the ravages of time.

Brief History:Enter If you dare

The castle was built on a steep rock outcrop which concealed a natural cave connecting the two flanks of the castle.

While Bonaguil origins go back as far Beynac, most of the present structure was added in the XVth and XVIth centuries by Lord Bérenger de Roquefeuil. By all accounts he was a total prick who was not very popular with the local serfs or the king of France. 

This unpopularity required much defence and you can see how he would have felt safe behind these walls.  After his death in 1530 his son inherited this imposing fortress but he ended up squandering most of the family fortunes on his young wife. The castle stayed in the family for a few generations, survived the War of Religion only to finally succumb to the French revolution when, as a result of a decree, it was partially demolished, sacked and left to its ruin. 

The boys had great fun as you would expect.  It was one of those outings where we only had to turn our backs for a second to find that they disappeared down some hole. 

Their excitement with castles has to wear off eventually but thankfully there is still a little left in the tank. I took far too many photo's today and here are at least a few.

In the Oven Henry Hole
Dad and James Ange Jack Tower Jack WallAnge Tower Arch Way grand hall Cave Boys Window Jack Window henry bridge Front
Bonaguil_Panorama4

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