|If you enjoy castles you’re going to love visiting Dordogne! There are a staggering number of castles here, more than 1,500 of them, including some very famous and spectacular ones, as well as a great assortment of other historical attractions and beautiful towns and cities. Dordogne has really emerged as a very popular tourist destination in the last decade or two as more and more visitors discover everything the region has to offer.
With over 1,500 castles to choose from where do you start?! If you’re here for a lengthy period of time you might like to explore some of the lesser known and visited ones, but if you’re time is short you’ll want top concentrate on the more famous and impressive castles of Dordogne.
These include Chateau de Beynac, popular because it is one of the best preserved and hence best known in Dordogne. Perched on the top of a limestone cliff, Chateau de Beynac was built in the Middle Ages and was restored in the 1960s. It’s been open to the public for some years now and the tapestries on display are particularly famous.
Nearby is Chateau de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle which was actually built to face Chateau de Beynac as a rival. The latter is considered by many visitors to be the more attractive of the two. This castle was in ruins for many years until it was bought and restored. Now it’s privately owned but is open to the public and features a popular museum of medieval warfare.
The famous Lascaux Caves are another of Dordogne’s most popular attractions. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this complex of caves contains some wonderful cave art that dates back over 17,000 years and are mostly drawings of large animals. Due to the high number of visitors to the caves the art began to get damaged and so the caves were closed, but later reproductions were produced in another cave and these are still open to the public today.
Towns and Cities of Dordogne
Along with the castles and the caves, Dordogne has many lovely towns and cities to see too. Perigueux is the capital of the Dordogne and it features some important Roman ruins as well as a beautiful cathedral. The market town of Bergerac is famous for Cyrano de Bergerac, while the town of Monpazier features a wonderful little town square.