Hautefort Castle and Gardens
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With its clasical elegant architecture, its splendid 17th and 18th centuries furniture collection, the "a la francaise" gardens and english style parc the Hautefort Castle and its sourrounding constitute an complex unique in Perigord and more likely to be found on the famous Loire valley.
The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the village of Hautefort (It is easily accessible by car via a departmental road!).
The origins of the castle can be traced to 12th century when its place was occupied by a fortress owned by the famous bellicose troubadour Bertran de Born - The Viscount of Hautefort whom Dante Alighieri portrays the "Inferno" carrying his decapitated head like a torch.
After being reinforced during the Wars of Religions in the 16th century underwent a total overhaul in the 17th century - under the ownership of the powerfull and rich Marquess Jacques-Francois de Hautefort, first equery to the Queen Anne of Austria - the defensive framework being progresively replaced by classical architecture.
In the 19th century the famous landscape architect de Choulot creates the gardens and the park. The gardens are now listed as "Notable Gardens of France" by the French Ministry of Culture.
All Wednesdays and Thursdays nights in July and August the visits are animated by the Marquess and his younger sister Marie de Hautefort.
March :weekends and national holidays from 2pm to 6pm
April and May : every day from 10am to 12.30am and from 2pm to 6.30pm
June: everyday from 9.30am to 7pm / July and August: every day from 9.30am to 7pm evenings on Wednesdays from 8.30pm to 11pm
September: everyday from 9.30am to 7pm
Oct.: everyday from 2pm to 6pm
1 to 11 Nov.: weekends and holidays from 2pm to 6pm
Easter Egghunt in the castle's garden each year with the countess.