These cliffs have been inhabited for centuries. In the middle ages, some very unpleasant robber barons lived here. The entry was the most stoutly defended. It used to be a split in the rock, but was improved upon with a medieval gate and walls. Still occupied in the 1960's the front had bigger windows punched through to make the rooms liveable. The upper levels are still galleries of rock with large holes that used to be chimneys (one still is), or have stairs in them. Now well fenced to prevent tourists falling into them.
Simon de Montfort
Having burned and tortured his way across the Cathar country of Languedoc, Simon de Montfort was ambushed by a group of Cathar women. I found a wee plaque in Castelnaud explaining matters ...
A stone was thrown. It fell straight onto the steel helm of Simon de Montfort. His forehead was fractured, his jaw broken, his eyes and brains sprang from his head. The Count, fell bloodied to the ground. He was dead.
--- In case you were in any doubt!
Beynac is one of the best preserved castles in the region. Not far from Sarlat. This 12th century fortress is open for visits and gives a remarkable insight into what it must have been like in the Lionheart's time. His apartments are on the top floor. Best view! Very blowy. Lost hat twice. Well preserved interior of the chateau. Kitchen interesting. Tables had slots for your sword.
About this Blog
My travels through contemporary France in search of Richard the Lionheart and relics of his 12th century kingdom.
Paris, Rouen then the Duchy of Aquitaine, seeking useful detail and atmosphere for the second novel in the Lionheart Chronicles.