Did you know that Dordogne has the largest number of noble refuges in France? It alone has 1500 castles, manors and gentlemen's houses according to Jean Secret. A high figure because of the strong rivalries of the succession that led to a large number of lords.
The donjon is high and thick in this part of southwestern France to mark the power in addition to its primary purpose of defense. A high castle is synonymous with domination in the minds of the humble.
The seigneurial castles, dated since the first year have not been replaced, on the contrary architectural innovations appear. The Périgord castles are distinguished by their promiscuity, the styles mingle from one epoch to another.Then came the feudal castle in the twelfth century which was in castral architecture with its rather serrated wall, its towers and hourds. The thick rampart served to protect itself against the sapes and the artillery. The case of the feudal fortress of Beynac with its drawbridge to isolate the curtain from the outside.
Following the history, the caste motte was built from the 9th or 10th century on a defensive basis. Buildings of the same style but with more impressive shapes have also been erected as a dwelling. This is the case of the castle of Montclard built on a dummy dummy.
Before the end of the Middle Ages, the buildings were more compact with reduced angles to create the offensive. This is the reason of the barbicans and the piercing of arches. The castle of Castelnaud even armed itself with gunboats.
The fourteenth century is distinguished by the presence of more comfortable castles and more prone to the passage of light, so that architecture turns more towards the human side and no longer at its technical points.
The Renaissance castles of the 15th century were more open to the richness of ornamentation with profiles and contours, moldings and scallops, foliage and arabesques, florets and garlands, lace and rosettes ... elegance was married to subtlety. The case of the castle of Monbazillac.
The XVII and XVIII centuries pay attention to the emergence of a new style of classical art where wisdom, balance and measure are the most expressed elements. The castle of Hautefort is the proof with 70,000 visitors per year.