|Location||Hautefort, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France (Google Map Location)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
|Owned by||The Hautefort Foundation|
|Official Website||Chateau de Hautefort|
|Rooms Available||Yes (Wedding, events, filming)|
In the heart of France’s picturesque Périgord region, cradled amidst the rolling hills and lush landscapes, lies the majestic Chateau de Hautefort. Once a medieval fortress, this castle has evolved throughout the centuries, turning into a luxurious palatial residence that resonates with the charm and elegance of the Renaissance Era.Today, Chateau de Hautefort stands as a living testament to the enduring legacy of its past. Its majestic architecture and meticulously manicured gardens draw visitors from around the globe, inviting them to explore the castle’s glorious history.
Chateau de Hautefort History: The Rise and Resilience
Chateau de Hautefort’s history unfolds with the tale of Guy de Lastours, the earliest known owner, who claimed this fortress in AD 1000. In the 12th century, the medieval castle passed to the Born family, causing conflict between brothers Constantine and troubadour Bertrand de Born. Amidst a backdrop of power struggles, Richard the Lionheart, Duke of Aquitaine (later King of England), seized Chateau de Hautefort but later returned it to Bertrand.
Through changing times, Hautefort transformed from a medieval stronghold to a palatial country residence. In the 17th century, François and Jacques-François de Hautefort, with the help of skilled architects, rebuilt the castle with classical designs. During the French Revolution, the castle survived its use as a prison. Serving as a prison, the Chateau de Hautefort emerged unharmed, standing as a testament to its steadfast spirit. The Damas family became custodians of its legacy until the late nineteenth century when it found new ownership in the hands of Bertrand Artigues, an industrialist.
Years passed, and the castle faced neglect, its grandeur fading. But fate intervened as a devoted group led by Dr Dubois embarked on a mission to restore it. With unwavering dedication, they breathed life into the castle, revealing forgotten treasures and restoring it to its former glory.
Chateau de Hautefort Architecture: A Textual Walkthrough
As you approach Chateau de Hautefort, your eyes will be drawn to its impressive façade. The entrance, adorned with ornate carvings and intricate details, exudes an aura of grandeur. Tall, sturdy stone walls rise to meet the sky, with towers standing proudly at each corner. The castle’s towers and turrets serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. They provided a vantage point for observing the surrounding lands and served as defensive structures during medieval times. These majestic towers offer breathtaking panoramic views, allowing you to imagine the castle’s former glory. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the elegant interior design of this castle. Opulent halls with high ceilings adorned with lavish decorations showcase the castle’s aristocratic heritage. One of the highlights of Chateau de Hautefort is its grand staircase. Ascending the staircase, you’ll marvel at the intricately carved railings and the sweeping curve of the steps. Beyond the castle walls, Chateau de Hautefort’s gardens captivate visitors with their beauty. Meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and serene water features create a harmonious blend of nature and architecture.
Chateau de Hautefort Interesting Facts: Myths & Legends
- Myth: The Lady of Hautefort: One of the most famous legends surrounding Château de Hautefort involves a ghostly figure known as “The Lady of Hautefort.” According to local folklore, a ghostly woman dressed in white has been seen wandering the castle’s halls and gardens. Legend has it that she is the spirit of a former castle inhabitant who tragically died in a love affair.
- Fact: Connection to Louis XIV: Château de Hautefort strongly connects to King Louis XIV of France. In the 17th century, it was acquired by Jacques-François de Hautefort, who became the personal physician of Louis XIV. The king visited the castle multiple times, and Jacques-François de Hautefort’s influence led to significant renovations and improvements to the castle’s gardens and interior.
- Fact: Film Location: Château de Hautefort has also been featured in several films and TV series. It served as a filming location for the 1962 movie “Le Capitan” directed by André Hunebelle, and the 1995 movie “Le Hussard sur le Toit” directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, based on the novel by Jean Giono.
1. Where is Chateau de Hautefort located?
Château de Hautefort is located in the Dordogne county in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. It specifically sits in the small commune of Hautefort, which is about 30 kilometres southeast of the city of Périgueux.
2. Who owns Chateau de Hautefort?
The Hautefort Foundation currently owns Château de Hautefort. The castle was acquired in 1929 by Baron Henry de Bastard and his wife Simone, the daughter of David-Weill, a prominent partner of Banque Lazard.
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