Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chateau de Beynac

Gentle Friends, lets start with one of the best known and best preserved in the region, 
Chateau de Beynac (pronounced "bay nack").

(taken from the road leading into the village of Beynac)

The castle was built in the 12th century and added to over the centuries, by the barons of Beynac (one of the four Baronies of Perigord) to close the valley of the Dordogne.  The sheer cliff on one side of the castle being sufficient to discourage any assault from that side.  The were built up on a limestone plateau and include: crenelated walls, double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine, and double barbican ( the gateway entrance).

... walking up to the castle through the village....

... there has been lots of restoration in recent years and they have replaced the origanl wooden defenses along the walls, these look small but are really big, pointy telephone pole type installations.

... these marble plaques was located in the gatehouse listing the Barons de Beynac....

... also in the gatehouse was this model of the castle and the restorations they are trying to achieve..... the building in the center is the Chapel, for reference later on....

... from the lower battlements looking up the Dordogne river valley....

... I turned around and took this snap looking up at the fortress keep.....  imposing!!....

...  Looking at the main body of the keep across the lower yard...  the lean to looking thing, lower left,  are some stables built as sets when they were filming the 1999 film - "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc".....  walking to the upper yard.....

.... you see the Chapel, which was closed.....

... then across the yard to the front door......

...  the whole keep is so imposing and tall.....this wall is to the left of the door you go in....

....  you get to see lots of rooms, but a majority of this large castle is still lived in by the owners and not open to the public, I took snaps where I could.......

... this narrow space is the "garderobe" or medieval toilet.....  
...
here's a snap of one of them from the outside...
__________________

Back to the other inside snaps.....

... the Salle des Etats (States Hall)  which leads to .....

... a small oratory covered in 15th frescoes...  

... moving up in the castle keep was this room decorated to reflect the 17th century.....

... the stairwell added during the renaissance from the inside....

.....to get up to the battlements you had to climb this circular stair in one of the towers, I climbed so many of these over the course of my visit, I got pretty good at going up and down!!

... the last bit to the top was a straight shot, look how worn these steps are.....

... looking back over the keep I got this shot to show the typical stone roof of the Perigordian region, they last for centuries by literally weigh tons, and they are everywhere on ancient buildings.....

... I liked this shot of the chapel from the battlements.....

..... isn't this a great shot of the river and the lichen on the stone......

.... another shot of the chapel, but in this one you can see the Dordogne river looking downstream, and how well the Castle was placed for protecting this stretch of it....

.... to get to the kitchens you had to walk down another set of circular stairs........

.... and out through the courtyard, this is the outside of the renaissance staircase I showed earlier.....

.... you leave through the kitchens, by coming down the ramp to the right and......

..... across this large open kitchen.....

..... this shot was taken from the village parking lot, this is a great castle and was such a super start to the area.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Take care,
edgar

14 comments:

Mary said...

If walls could talk....what would you hear from a castle like this. The plotting, the scandal.......

Anonymous said...

Wow, what great pictures! Thank you for sharing them. What an interesting tour.
Lancy

needlenurse said...

Oh my goodness! It's like I was there with you. I loved it......looking forward to the rest of the trip.

Paula

Laura said...

It's so wonderful of you to share your travels with us....I can't even begin to imagine what it must like to be one of the family members living there and waking up to see such a fascinating place every day.

Looking forward to your next installment!

Mouse said...

love the photos and the tour ... I used to be in the sealed knot that re enacted the 17th century so I would have been very at home there in my costumes :) love mouse xxxxx

Mary in TN said...

Your mini-documentaries are perfect. The pictures are superb. I love to see these things as I will never get to see in person. Castles are the bomb. Thanks so much.

Annette-California said...

I too felt like I was touring with you. Fabulous castle:))) What a treat. Thank you for sharing.

Margaret said...

Wow! So cool! Can you imagine owning a castle, much less living in one? Amazing! It's so amazingly green and blue when you look at the vistas. Gorgeous!

Barb said...

These are wonderful Edgar, thank you for the arm chair trip to France. Loved the shots showing the beautiful blue sky and the ancient buildings.

marly said...

I'm in awe. The scope of planning, cutting stone, and building these massive structures to last for centuries just stuns me! Thanks for sharing what most of us will never see in person.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos - felt like I was on a tour of France!

Wendy said...

Man... your snaps are gorgeous! It's so easy to stare and try to envision life in that era. Just gorgeous!

cucki said...

Wow so beautiful
I love the place and pictures so much x

Ariadne Skyrianidou said...

What a gorgeous castle!AriadnefromGreece!