The Fortress of Ventadour, cradle of the Troubadours

Situated at an altitude of 562 metres, on a rocky spur 200 metres above the Soudeillette and Vigne gorges, the Château de Ventadour stands in imposing ruins.

The castle site dates back to the 11th century, when Ebles 1er, second son of Archambaud de Comborn, became Viscount of Ventadour (1059).

The castle commanded the Viscounty of Ventadour, the towns of Ussel and Egletons, and for over a century (12th-13th century), the Château de Ventadour was a hotbed of artistic creation, one of the most important in Occitan lands. Troubadours would gather at the château to create and compare their poems. Ebles II viscount of Château de Ventadour, known as "lo cantador", was considered a master in the art of "trobar". It was in this scholarly environment that Bernard de Ventadour was introduced to poetic creation.

His fame grew, and the pupil quickly surpassed the master. He was forced to leave Ventadour after declaring his passion to Alice de Montpellier, wife of Ebles III, son of his lord. He then left for the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he in turn courted, before entering the service of the court of Raymond V of Toulouse.

The château has long been impregnable due to its location and defense, but was conquered by the English, following a betrayal, during the Hundred Years' War. Ransacked, it was later sold to a blacksmith from Égletons, who began dismantling it during the Restoration period. The site became a stone quarry and was used to build numerous houses.

In 1988, the Duke of Lévis-Mirepoix donated the castle ruins to the municipality of Moustier Ventadour for a symbolic franc. In May 2011, the municipality delegated the project to the Ventadour community of communes. Since then, the site has undergone extensive crystallization work to consolidate the ruins. After more than 10 years of conservation work, we can now see the mousetrap, the ramparts, the round tower, the seigniorial dwelling and the Saint-Georges chapel. The oldest remains date back to the end of the 12th century.

Events for children aged 4 and over include medieval camps, escape games, treasure hunts, investigations, archery, storytelling and evening visits, creative workshops, etc.


Château de Ventadour

La Chanselve,

19300 Moustier Ventadour

Tel: 05 55 93 04 34


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