The middle ages : the time of warriors

The first owner of the estate was Guy de Lastours, around the year 1000. Gouffier de Lastours, one of this descendents, is thought to be one of the 30 knights who entered Jerusalem in 1099 alongside Godefroy de Bouillon. In the 12th century an alliance was formed, meaning the fortress belonged to the De Born family, represented by two feuding brothers, Constantin and the famous troubadour Bertran de Born. The medieval fortress, which we only know about through writings, then consisted of a keep and several towers linked by battlements. In the 15th century, the Château passed to a branch of the De Gontaut family, who took the name and coat of arms of Hautefort.

The 16th and 17th centuries: the golden age of the Marquis de Hautefort

As times and fashions changed, the fortress gradually turned into a place of leisure. The Château experienced its most sumptuous period in the 17th century. François de Hautefort and his grandson Jacques-François worked successively with two architects from out of Périgord: Nicolas Rambourg, from Lorraine, then a Parisian, Jacques Maigret. The Château was gradually stripped of its defensive functions to become a “modern-style” château, formed of a corps de logis and two wings at right angles, punctuated by two circular towers. In its classicism, Hautefort more closely resembled a Loire château than the castles of the region. Its imposing and majestic form simply reflects the power of the Lords of Hautefort.

The 18th and 19th centuries: uncertain times

During the French Revolution, the de Hautefort family did not emigrate. The château, used as a “prison for suspects” from 1793 to 1795, was saved from destruction. The family owned the place until the end of the 19th century. The widow of the last owner descended from the De Hautefort family, Count Maxence de Damas, sold the Château in 1890 to a rich industrialist, Bertrand Artigues. After he died without heirs in 1908, the Château fell into dilapidation, culminating in 1925, when estate agents acquired, ransacked and abandoned it, very nearly causing it to disappear forever.

The 20th century: rebirth and recognition

In 1929, Hautefort was saved by the arrival of Baron Henry de Bastard and his wife Simone, who fell in love with it. Fascinated by the place, they gave new life to the residence and its gardens. Only after the death of her husband in 1957 did the Baroness finish the work and settle in the Château in 1965. Nonetheless, she was forced to watch, powerless, when a fire ravaged the corps de logis of the Château in the night of the 30th to the 31st of August 1968.
The very next day, the Baroness de Bastard decided to restore her château again. Moved by her passion and determination, everyone worked to help and encourage her, from the villagers to the celebrities of the day, such as Pierre de Lagarde or André Malraux. So many passionate people, both anonymous and famous, took part in rescuing one of the most prestigious monuments of the south-west of France.

What you need to know:

The castle of Hautefort is full of treasures : you can discover fortifications, underground, chambers, passages and apartments richly furnished and have fun (a gamebook is for sale at the ticket office).
The French gardens around the castle and the English park give the family the opportunity to stroll and to take advantage of the exceptional views of the surrounding countryside.

Children (7-14 y.o.)/ 4 €
Above 14 years/ 8.5 €
Gamebook : 1 €

Nature Workshop in spring

Treasure hunting in the gardens of the castle. (Easter Monday). All the registered hunters will receive a chocolate surprise.

April : Monday, the 9th, workshop beginning at 3:00 PM

Children (7-14 y.o.)/ 4 €
Above 14 years/ 8.5 €

The night-visits in summer

You can explore the castle, at nightfall, in the company of Catherine de Hautefort, marquess Jacques François’s sister in 17th century. An unusual visit for all the family…

July : Wednesday, the 11th, 18th and 25th
August : Wednesday, the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd
Ticket office : 9:15 PM. Visit : 10:00 PM (duration : 1 hour).

Children (7-14 y.o.)/ 5 €
Above 14 years/ 10 €

Art Workshops for children

At the castle of Hautefort, we offer creative workshops, providing a fun environment where younger members of the public (from 6 years) come to learn about the history and significance of the castle. Using art materials, they produce highly imaginative and original creations. These creative workshops are supervised by the artist, Danièle Godart.

July : Wednesday, the 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th , workshop beginning at 2:30 PM
August : Wednesday, the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, workshop beginning at 2:30 PM

Free admission with a ticket to the castle.

How do I get to Hautefort ?

Airports :
Limoges (Haute-Vienne) : 70 km away
Périgueux (Dordogne) : 40 km away
Bergerac (Dordogne) : 95 km away
Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze) : 50 km away

Motorway :
A89 : exit N°17 (15 min from Hautefort)
A20 : exit N° 50 (45 min from Hautefort)

SNCF stations :
Le Lardin Saint-Lazarre: 20 km away
Périgueux (Dordogne) : 40km away
Saint-Yrieix la Perche (Haute-Vienne) : 35 km away
Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze) : 50 km away

Château de Hautefort

24390 Hautefort

Tel: 05 53 50 51 23

Fax: 05 53 51 67 37


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