A brief history of humanity at renovated chateau

As recently as 50 years ago, all you could see of the Château de Commarque was part of the castle’s keep and the cross on top of the chapel, just visible among the trees on a densely wooded hillside.

Now the treasures of the site have been revealed after decades of painstaking archaeological and historical research, a massive – and continuing – clearing operation and major works to reinforce and restore crumbling walls.

The chateau, between Sarlat and Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, has been open to the public since 2000.

Last year it was awarded the Grand Trophée de la Plus Belle Restauration by the Fondation pour les Monuments Historiques and Le Figaro Magazine.

Owner Hubert de Commarque said: “The site is unique because it was lived in from prehistoric times up to the 16th
century. After that, it was deserted and so we have an open history book we can read, from the caves lived in by early man at the bottom of the cliffs up to the homes built further up the hillside for the lords who ruled over this territory.

“Here there is everything man needed. A spring, plenty of wild animals and stone cliffs, first to shelter in and ...

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