live le lot

Modern Era

The numerous expansion projects over the centuries left the castle with a unique architecture. The castle's main hold is designed as a triangle with three round tours at each angle. 

The last of the Castelnau Barrons passed away in 1715. This led  to a period of disrepair after the castle was abandoned during the French revolution. The castle  served largely as a rock quarry for surrounding villagers until Famed opera tenor Jean Moulierat purchased the property in 1895 and undertook the castle as a refurbishment project.  Castelnau is now owned by the son of Philippe and Véronique, former engineer Kléber Rossillon. 



Château de Castelnau activities include a large collection of over 200 pieces of museum quality medieval armor and weaponry from all over Europe, as well as orchestras and theater held in the outside courtyard during the summer months. The castle also hosts medieval displays during the high season (July - October), including forgers, weapons handling, and trebuchet (Medieval Siege Weapons), recreations of daily life at the chateau and a comedic show where spectators are invited into the chateau to solve a mystery.


Château de Castelnau sits perched on top of a hill just outside the village of Prudomat (between Saint-Céré and Bretenoux.) The castle is considered one of the most impressive of the region, replete with a dungeon and opulent living quarters. The castle's red stone wall tower over the Dordogne valley. The castle is know for music and theater, hosting outside events in its courtyard during the summer months. The French Ministry of Culture designated the castle as an official Historical Monument of France in 1862.

Opening dates/times: Open all year, every day.  Hours are 10:00 am - 6:00 pm in February, March and October to November 11; 10:00 am - 7:00 pm in April, May, June, and September. July, August: 9 am to 8 pm. From 12 November to the end of January (Christmas holidays 10 am to 5 pm): 2 pm to 5 pm.

Location: 24250 Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Tel: 05 53 31 30 00 



Price: EURO: adults 9.80€; children 10 to 17 years old EURO 4.90€; and children under 10 free. Tickets for the Cathar Mystery show are EURO 14.50 for adults and EURO 9 for children. 


Château de Castelnau owes its early origins in the 12th Century to the barons of Castelnau, a family of wealthy lords vassal to the Count of Toulouse who built a wall around their property. Efforts to further fortify the holding met with an inauspicious beginning. Bernard of Casnac, a powerful lord and fervent believer in the Cathar faith, began construction of the present day castle in the early 13th Century but soon faced conflict at his gates. Knight crusader Simon de Montfort the Elder sacked the site in 1215. The castle was burned a year later on the order of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Expansion projects nevertheless continued through the 15th Century and Hundred Years War (1337 – 1453) through the Wars of Religion and the Renaissance.