Brenda goes to France travel blog

12th century tower

Chateau de Roquetaillade

Dry moat with goat


Monday included a walk around Cadillac - pronounced cad-e-ac. Truthfully, I cannot pull up a memory of the town.

In the afternoon, We were driven into the country to visit Chateau de Roquetaillade, a memorable experience. The free standing tower dates to the 12 th century. The chateau itself is surrounded by a dry moat. That day 2 goats with big horns were in residence. The castle had been remodeled inthe 1850's. From the outside the change was only the large windows added on the first and second floors. The interior was extensively changed. Before the work there was nothing inside except space to shelter villagers in the event of an attack.

The interior designer was the famous Viollet-Le-Duc and this was his only residential interior. We were not permitted to take any pictures for security reasons. Post cards were supposed to be available, but we never saw a shop. Maybe somewhere...

The interiors were amazing. The first interior space included a stairway based on his design for the Paris opera house -- magnificent. Lit with stained glass on the first turning level. On the second level, I remember a bedroom fireplace with a small statueof the Virgin Mary standing on a plinth supported by a rat - so that the Virgin would protect them from the plague. On eIther side were painted angels with wings in red, white and blue for the revolution. Below that a ribbon intertwined with lilies recalled royalty. Throughout the furnishings are antiques from a mixture of periods, obviously acquired over time. Ancester portraits abound. The kitchen, still used by the family who reside there, has a very large island stove. Copper utensils of all kinds hang from the walls. The dining table sits,in front of the only window. During W W II, the chateau was taken over by the Nazis who installed electricity.

On returning to the bus we learned that our guide was none other than the dowager countess herself.



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