Today I’m hosting a beautiful picture of the Chateau des Anglais in Autoire village in France taken by Chris Román from the Explore Now or Never Blog.
Chris is a San Diego-based freelance writer. She is in an eternal struggle between her love for napping in her hammock at home in her tropical garden with two neurotic cats and travelling the globe to off-the-beaten-path destinations with my husband.
Photo Story: Chateau des Anglais – Autoire Castle
Arriving in the misty, verdant Dordogne region of southwest France on a rainy June day was like being enveloped in a big hug after too many sun-parched days during the sizzling summer in Provence.
The lavender fields there were lovely, but the Dordogne’s emerald meadows and leafy trees shivering in the rain were a welcome respite from the heat.
So we spent that first day just gulping cool air and wandering tiny back roads in our rental car, umbrellas at the ready. Just in awe of the sights every turn in the road brought us.
It’s all craggy cliffs and deep valleys in the Dordogne. Ancient homes chiselled high into cliffs sides to protect from invaders.
And lazy canoe rides on the river…craning our necks constantly to gaze up at fortresses and castles standing sentinel.
Earlier in the day, we’d inspected the Cro-Magnon cave art at the famous Lascaux caves—discovered by a gaggle of teenage boys and their dog way back in 1940— and waved to all the geese awaiting their fate there in foie gras (goose liver paté) country. Then we went in search of lunch.
Which is when we came upon this beautiful sight in the tiny village of Autoire as we wound our way by foot to the only café open that afternoon. Was it a castle? A private home?
We don’t actually know. It’s magical moments like these that Steve and I treasure when we travel off the beaten path.
When we are the only tourists around to soak in a special sight. There are no signs written in three languages to explain.
You have to use your imagination as you wonder who sleeps inside at night…who looks out that tiny window high in the turret during the day. And who keeps this abode in mint condition over years of steely storms and dark winters.
This is the way that travel sparks your creativity and infuses your soul with a sense of adventure and joy.
The Chateau des Anglais is a castle in the commune of Autoire in the Lot département of France.
The castle extends under a rocky cliff, partially overhanging, which limits its area. The only remains are a roofless corps de logis with a turret.
Chateau continues to the east with a further corps de logis and turret. Together, they formed a sort of narrow, extended keep, stuck to the rock which forms its lower wall.
The keep was surrounded by a fortified village, slightly lower, comprising 22 square houses. A wall made of large blocks of stone encircled the village.
Apart from this enclosure, which could be older, the village and the castle show evidence of 11th and 12th centuries origins
Parts of the site are privately owned and parts are the property of the commune. It has been listed since 1925 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
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