Chateau de Biron, Aquitaine
Discover Chateau de Biron
Chateau de Biron is a castle towards the southern border of the Dordogne region with the Lot-et-Garonne. Standing on a hilltop, it can be seen from many vantage points in the area - each time looking more splendid than the time before. Try and see it when it catches the early morning sun if possible.
History of Chateau de Biron
The history of the Château de Biron starts with its construction in the 12th century, The castle then underwent various periods of improvement that continued until the 18th century, during which entire period it was owned by the Gontaut-Biron family (the family finally relinquished ownership in the 20th century, after 24 generations).
An active castle starting with the 13th century cathar wars the Chateau de Biron underwent an important transformation in the 15th century after the end of the Hundred Years War when it was made more comfortable with the addition of windows and many other enhancements, often in the renaissance style.
Troubled times were to return with the wars of religion in the 16th century, during which the Gontaut-Biron family were out of favour with the King. This situation continued until the 18th century, when the family were at last able to continue with their improvements to the castle.
With the revolution in France the castle again fell to neglect, and the family once again had to fight to keep and improve the Chateau de Biron. They retained the castle until 1978 when the family sold it to the state.
Visiting Chateau de Biron
The castle is now renovated and open to the public. (When you visit the chateau you can try and follow the written guide in French, or use the English language version - we were amused to see that one is not really a translation of the other.)
Within the walls of the chateau you will see some beautiful rooms, dating from the different periods of construction that Biron has passed through, with a wide range of architectural styles.
As well as the imposing towers and defences the rooms you will see include the kitchens, bedrooms, an ancient bakery - some parts are the original medieval castle while others are the more recent decorative renaissance additions.
Most interesting perhaps, there is a fascinating 16th century chapel, on two levels - the lower chapel was for the villagers, and the higher chapel for the lords, who believed they should be a little bit closer to heaven at prayer time.
You can also see a great distance across the Dordogne countryside from the castle. Now a mixture of wooded areas and open fields, remember that all this land was covered by forests until the 18th century.
Chateau de Biron has been used on several occasions by filmmakers.
Biron village and nearby
The village itself developed around the castle and is very picturesque. From its raised vantage point it surveys miles of countryside. There is also a cafe and a few houses in Biron, then stroll a short way down the hill to see the picturesque village church.
There are more facilities (cafes and restaurants) at Lacapelle-Biron a few kilometres to the south, while children will be attracted by Parc en Ciel - a treetop adventure parc nearby.
Map of Chateau de Biron and places to visit
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Address: Biron, Monpazier, Bergerac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, 24540, France || GPS: latitude 44.632222, longitude 0.8725
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Monpazier: secteur sauvegarde (6km)
- Eglise Sainte-Croix (Beaumont-du-Perigord): religious monument (12km)
- Monflanquin: most beautiful village (14km)
- Saint-Avit Eglise (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (16km)
- Belves: most beautiful village (19km)
- Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (19km)
- Le-Buisson-de-Cadouin eglise abbatiale (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (20km)
- Jardins de la Bourlie: remarkable garden (21km)
- Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (24km)
- Jardin de Planbuisson: remarkable garden (24km)