Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Aquitaine: tourism & sightseeing
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Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is a village in the Dordogne department of south-west France. It is classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France' and is home to the magnificent Chateau de Castelnaud.
As you approach Castelnaud-la-Chapelle you will see the castle towering up from the hillside above the river Dordogne. It is a magnificent sight. Indeed this stretch of the Dordogne is fabulous as along the river are a good number of medieval chateaux and picturesque villages.
On arriving at Castelnaud park the car in the car-park at the bottom of the river. This is a pleasant spot with a restaurant and a canoe hire company and you can see the village looming above you. If walking is a problem you can drive straight up to the castle at the top of the village.
The road through the village is steep with cobbled paths leading you through arches and down side-streets. Round every corner are more lovely stone houses with steep, perigordine roofs and wooden shutters.
With few cars in the village you can almost get the feeling that you have stepped back through time and landed in the middle-ages.
Lovely architectural details like stone arches, half-timber houses and stone towers mean there is plenty to admire. There is a cafe in the village and so you can stop and rest and soak up the atmosphere.
All around there are incredible views; in one direction the Dordogne river with a view over the Chateau de Beynac on the other side of the river. In the other direction the wide open Ceao valley, home to a quieter more hidden view of the Dordogne than the one you are likely to experience along the Dordogne valley.
Of course the main reason most people come to the village is to visit the magnificent Chateau de Castelnaud. A huge medieval castle built for warfare and inside is an excellent museum of military weapons including some full scale reproductions of the larger weapons used in medieval warfare.
During the summer there are demonstrations of the forge and some of the weapons and on summer evenings the castle is open from 8.15pm for visits with guides dressed in medieval costumes (not weekends).
Places to Visit Nearby
Very close to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle are various other 'most beautiful villages' such as Domme, Beynac and La Roque-Gageac. For castle enthusiasts the Chateau de Beynac is another excellent castle well worth a visit.
The neighbouring Chateau des Milandes is a charming castle built by the lords of Castelnaud for living in rather than for warfare. It was once the home of Jaqueline Baker and there is an interesting exhibition dedicated to her in the castle.
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Map of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and places to visit
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Address: Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Domme, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne, Aquitaine, 24250, France || GPS: latitude 44.8158, longitude 1.1494
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardins de Marqueyssac: remarkable garden
- Beynac: most beautiful village (3km)
- La Roque-Gageac: most beautiful village (3km)
- Jardins de l'Albarède: remarkable garden (3km)
- Eglise notre-Dame de Nativité (Cenac-et-Saint-Julien): religious monument (5km)
- Jardins du château de Caudon: remarkable garden (5km)
- Domme: most beautiful village (5km)
- Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (8km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Sardos (Sarlat): religious monument (10km)
- Sarlat: town of art and history (10km)
- Belves: most beautiful village (12km)
- Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (12km)
The French version of this page is at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle (Francais)