Chateau de Bonaguil, Lot-et-Garonne: visitors guide

Photo of Chateau de Bonaguil in Dordogne Chateau (Aquitaine region)

Visit Chateau de Bonaguil, France

Château de Bonaguil is one of the best looking, best located, castles in France. It is found near Fumel, in northern Lot-et-Garonne, where it has been classified as a historic monument since 1862.

History of Chateau de Bonaguil

The castle was originally constructed in the 13th century, and then extended substantially in the late 15th and early 16th centuries - just as other castles in the region were falling to ruin or being converted to fine renaissance mansions.

The owner, Bérenger de Roquefeuil, felt a need to build an extensive castle using all the most modern defences to protect against an enemy that was not expected and never did arrive. As a result the castle never saw action, but is one of the best examples of military engineering that can be seen in the region. Bérenger de Roquefeuil also had a reputation for his sheer unpleasantness that spread far and wide.

After Bérenger died his family squandered his money and the castle fell into a state of disrepair, changing hands during the Wars of Religion when the two grandsons of Berenger fought on different sides in the war. Over the following centuries the castle had several periods of abandon and also periods when it was repaired and improved, with living accommodation being added in the 18th century.

Another period of abandon and damage followed the French revolution, until the second half of the 19th century when the local council took ownership of Chateau de Bonaguil. Between then and now the castle has undergone various periods of renovation and is now one of the most visited castles in the region.

Visiting Chateau de Bonaguil

Chateau Bonaguil is an impressive feat of military engineering and a very lovely chateau to visit. Despite the changing fortunes of the castle across the centuries and having been considerably damaged during the revolution, the castle is a very impressive site to all that visit and highly recommended.

If you visit Bonaguil during the summer be sure to ask at the tourist offices for details of the feux d'artifice (fireworks) display that is held at Chateau Bonaguil one summer night each year. The castle is lit up dramatically, music is played, and fireworks fired around and from the castle (called an 'embrasement' if you see adverts). An unforgettable evening - we know of several people who time their holidays each year around the event. And it's free!

In the valley below the castle there are cafes and a few houses.

See a more detailed article about Chateau Bonaguil in our French Castles section, or see more Dordogne castles.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Lot-et-Garonne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also:

Map of Chateau de Bonaguil and places nearby

Visit near Chateau de Bonaguil with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Lot-et-Garonne

Address: Saint-Front-sur-Lémance, Fumel, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Aquitaine, 47500, France || GPS: latitude 44.5382, longitude 1.0143

Plan your visit to Chateau de Bonaguil, Lot-et-Garonne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Monpazier: secteur sauvegarde (18 km)
  • Monflanquin: most beautiful village (20 km)
  • Jardin de la Daille: remarkable garden (25 km)
  • Belves: most beautiful village (26 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (26 km)
  • Eglise Sainte-Croix (Beaumont-du-Perigord): religious monument (27 km)
  • Eglise de Notre-Dame (Lacour): religious monument (28 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame (Frespech): religious monument (29 km)
  • Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (30 km)
  • Jardins de l'Albarède: remarkable garden (31 km)
  • Saint-Avit Eglise (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (31 km)
  • Pujols: most beautiful village (31 km)

The French version of this page is at Chateau de Bonaguil (Francais)