Castle of Commarque


castle of commarque

The Castle of Commarque was founded in the 12th century on a site that was settled since prehistoric times. It was probably built by a member of the Commarque family at the request of the abbots of Sarlat.
The first fortification was only a wooden tower and its primary purpose was to defend against the ambitious Beynac family. The place was carefully chosen at the crossroads of two important roads: one from Brive to Bergerac and the other from Perigeux to Cahors.
Eventually, the Beynac family managed to gain control of the castle. They improved the fortifications and changed the wooden tower with a stone keep. During the Hundred Years War, the Beynacs defended the French crown. They further enhanced the castle defenses, raised the stone keep and built a series of machicolations, probably inspired by the Palace of Popes in Avignon.
Nevertheless, the English were able to capture the castle at some point and held it for several years. During the French Wars of Religion, the castle was taken by the Catholics (because the Beynacs were Protestant partisans) and it suffered severe damages. It was inhabited until the late 17th century and then completely abandoned.
Both the village and the castle remained hidden under vegetation for nearly 200 years. They were rediscovered only recently, in 1962, when Hubert de Commarque, a descendant of the original owners, began extensive renovations and archeological work and reopened this "forgotten" site to the public.
The castle today
Today, the castle is an extremely romantic spot which includes fascinating knights towers and many ruined structures carved into the rock. The dominant elements are the 12th-century keep (which was gradually improved until the 17th century) and the Great Hall. There is also evidence of prehistoric life: below the castle, there is a cave which contains a full sized drawing of a horse made by the Magdalenian man.

Anything wrong with the information about this place ? Do you want to add more details ? Please  click here...

If you want to add some interesting information about this place, please send us a message:

Your message:x

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Dordogne department, France
view map

12th century

Rate this castle

Leave a comment

Your name:

Your comment:

Before submiting, you might want to check our terms of service and posting rules

Before submitting you might want to check our terms of service and posting rules

Do you have a nice picture of this place ? Please upload it here:

Image attach might not work on older mobiles
Your Name (optional): if you want to be credited with the picture

See also