Chateau de Montfort, Dordogne visitors guide
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The Chateau de Montfort is situated in the commune of Vitrac, 4 km west of Carsac-Aillac and east of Beynac and la-Roque-Gageac, in the popular Dordogne region of south-west France. The Chateau de Montfort sits literally on a rocky ledge overhanging the cliffs, village and river below.
History of Chateau de Montfort
Montfort has had a turbulent history, starting with the renowned cathar, Bernard de Casnac, who lived in the chateau, and swore to 'cut into pieces all the catholics in the region'. But life was never simple for the cathars and Casnac soon attracted the attentions of Simon de Montfort, who succeded in seizing the castle and removing Casnac. The castle was then named after Simon de Montfort.
There is a popular legend at the chateau that the daughter of Casnac was burned to death at Montfort, and that her ghost still haunts the chateau.
The Château de Montfort has undergone a great deal of change, rebuilding and enlargement during the 800 years that it has been here, and indeed was burnt down and rebuilt a total of five times between the years 1214 and 1606. The current chateau is an imposing monument which is in private ownership.
In the tiny village huddled below the substantial ramparts there are some attractive houses in the yellow stone traditionally used in the Dordogne.
Views of the Chateau de Montfort
The Chateau de Montfort sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the 'Cingle de Montfort' which is a loop in the river and views from near the castle over the Cingle de Montfort are very pretty.
Unfortunately you will have to be satisfied with seeing the attractive château from the village below the castle - it is not open to the public. Better views can be had nearby than in the village itself - there is a good view of the castle if you look back from a little way along the road towards Carsac, and like Chateau Beynac the river also gives an impressive view if you are passing by in a canoe.
Places to visit nearby
The medieval village of Domme is nearby. Domme is one of France's most beautiful villages and also has excellent views over the Dordogne. It also has a cave system under its main square which can be visited.
La Roque-Gageac is another 'most beautiful village' and as well as its beautiful medieval buildings and riverside position it is planted throughout with a lush profusion of palms, banana plants, bamboo and lots more.
Map of Chateau de Montfort and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardins du château de Caudon: remarkable garden (5 km)
- Domme: most beautiful village (5 km)
- La Roque-Gageac: most beautiful village (5 km)
- Eglise notre-Dame de Nativité (Cenac-et-Saint-Julien): religious monument (6 km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Sardos (Sarlat): religious monument (6 km)
- Sarlat: town of art and history (6 km)
- Jardins de Marqueyssac: remarkable garden (7 km)
- Jardins de l'Albarède: remarkable garden (8 km)
- Beynac: most beautiful village (8 km)
- Notre Dame des Cordeliers (Gourdon): religious monument (11 km)
- Gourdon: recommended detour (11 km)
- Jardin de la Daille: remarkable garden (15 km)
The French version of this page is at Chateau de Montfort (Francais)