Beynac Village and Castle
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Beynac Castle is situated in the 'Beynac-et-Cazenac' village which is a member of "Plus Beaux Villages de France" association. The castle origins are not exactly known - but possibly it dates from the 8th century when a fortress was built on the location.
The castle that can be seen today was mainly built in 12th century by the Beynac family and it became the seat of one of the four baronies of Perigord. Its location is almost surprising for the modern eye: it sits atop of a calcareous cliff that descends abruptly to the Dordogne river.
In 9 ceturies of history Beynac castle had many owners the most famous being the English king Richard the Lion Heart and Simon de Monfort the cathar butcher. It also undertook many changes: was enlarged during 14th, 16th and 17th century and the appartments still keep the carpentry and the painted ceiling from the 17th century. From all the castle's hallways that face the south one can admire a magnificent view of the Dordogne valley.
Beynac village is divided into Haut Beynac - Upper Beynac and Bas Beynac or Lower Beynac. The castle situated in Upper Beynac is accessible by car!