Are you in love with old stones? So there is no doubt that you will be charmed by the Corrèze castles. Whether you like towers and keeps from the High Middle Ages, medieval fortresses or Renaissance mansions, there is something to satisfy all your castle dreams. Let's go for a grand tour of the most beautiful buildings in Corrèze.
Photos of the article © Corrèze Guide
The Tours de Merle stand on a rocky outcrop, which emerges above the forest of the Maronne Valley. This forest area, crossed by the Maronne river, is classified as a “Natura 2000” zone. If you are discreet, you may come across some otters there. During the summer, the castrum is animated by medieval troops, who will immerse you in this troubled time of the Middle Ages, thanks to workshops and shows.
The Château de Turenne is another distant ancestor of these castle mounds, transformed into a stone fortress. It is a witness to the beginnings of the history of France. Indeed, when the viscountcy gave way to the crown of France, King Louis XV imposed the destruction of its defensive elements. All that remains is an imposing dungeon on one side and a round tower at the other end of the rocky outcrop with, between the two, a few vestiges, today adorned by a pleasure garden. You can visit the Salle des Gardes, which is furnished in the 18th century and which presents a collection of salt chests.
Turenne and its castle
The Château de Ventadour is an old fortress from the 12th century. Placed on the edge of a cliff at nearly 600 meters above sea level, these ruins are still impressive, despite the wear and tear of time. It dominates the Gorges de la Soudeillette. A charming name, which probably inspired the troubadour Bernard de Ventadour. This site remains a symbol of courtly love and medieval literary art. It is accessible between Easter and Toussaint. In summer, a thematic guided tour will tell you the unusual story of the place.
This medieval building is an important Corrèze site, as it has seen the birth of great names in the history of France. The Château de Comborn is linked to the Turenne, Ventadour and Comborn, of course. Interesting remains have been found there and are presented to you during a guided tour. It leads you from the underground rooms of the castle to the ramparts, passing by its chapel. It is an astonishing immersion in the heart of the greatest families of Corrèze, who marked the Middle Ages.
The Towers of Carbonnières are vestiges of medieval times. These two square towers protect an old village and a forest estate. The site is home to a very lively medieval camp every summer. You can follow a theatrical guided tour in costumes! But also participate in workshops. An interpretation trail takes you there from the village of Merle.
The Towers of Carbonnières
Let's step back in time, at the Château de Pompadour. This domain is famous because Louis XV offered it to his “Lady of Hearts”. It was therefore in the 18th century that this 15th century estate really made people talk about it and brought its letters of nobility to the king's favourite. It was transformed into a National Stud. Today you can visit the interiors, the gardens and the stables, where horse shows take place.
We are in the middle of the Renaissance period, when the Castel de Vassinhac was built and the residence is moreover comfortable and opulent. Despite everything, it retains a few defensive elements, such as turrets, battlements and loopholes... In red sandstone, the castle has a decoration representative of the tastes of its time. Inside, a film on the history of Collonge-la-Rouge is presented to you.
The Castel of Vassinhac
The Château de Val is a very romantic building, which seems to be placed on the water. With its towers and its pontoon, one has the impression that it emerges from a fairy tale. It has also inspired many artists and offers its exceptional setting for shootings and art exhibitions. Fully furnished and decorated in a very neat 19th century style, it is a cozy residence, which lends itself to musical entertainment and plays.
The Château de Rilhac-Xaintrie is an old main building from the 14th century. But the current building is Gothic in style and dates from the 16th century. The architecture and structure of the estate is quite rustic, with a country house and an Auvergne barn, surrounded by a classical garden. During the summer holidays, a guided tour takes you inside the building, which has been completely renovated.
The Château de Neuvic d'Ussel is a beautiful residence, which adorns a charming 19th century garden. It is its arboretum that can be visited mainly. You will see specimens of rare and majestic trees. They come from all over the world and offer you a vegetal journey. To complete your walk, you can admire the fruits of its orchard and stroll through a priest's garden.
Here is our tour of the castles of Corrèze which ends and we hope to have made you want to discover the history of this beautiful region.