The Château de Montfort with its astonishing history

Overlooking the Dordogne River, Vitrac has had a most eventful history... 6 times destroyed, 6 times rebuilt, thinking of looting and war...


A little history...

The first mention of the castle of Montfort dates back to 866, under the name of "Castrum de Monte Forti".

Bernard de Casnac, bloodthirsty leader during the Albigensian crusade, married to Alix de Turenne, was the lord of Aillac, Castelnaud and Montfort.

In 1214, the castle was taken by Simon de Montfort. Bernard de Casnac took it back the following year, as well as the castle of Castelnaud. It is besieged and destroyed in 1216 by the army of the archbishop of Bordeaux.

The castle was given to Raymond IV, Viscount of Turenne who undertook the reconstruction.

In 1251, during the division of property, the property of Hélis de Turenne and Hélie de Rudel passed to their only daughter, Marguerite de Rudelle, known as de Turenne, married to Renaud III, sire of Pons.

Their property was divided among their three children.

In 1309, the King of France withdrew high justice from Geoffroy V and took it to his benefit for having approved his lord of Carlux who had been banished from France.

The ruling calls for the destruction and burning of the castle of Montfort.

During the Hundred Years War, the castle resisted several sieges, in 1404 and 1409, the garrison abandoning the castle in 1441.

Jacques Ier de Pons (1413-1473), convicted of the crime of lèse-majesté by a decision of the parliament of Paris on 28 June 1449, lost his fiefs of Aillac, Montfort and Carlux.

Pierre de Brézé was killed at the battle of Montlhéry on 16 July 1465, and his eldest son, Jacques de Brézé succeeded him in all his titles. He killed his wife, Charlotte de Valois, on May 31, 1477 and was arrested on November 24, 1477.

In order to get out of prison, he had to hand over to the King all his property by contract signed in Tours on 6 October 1481. Among the goods ceded were his fiefdoms in Périgord, Montfort, Carlux and Aillac.

After the death of Louis XI, his son Charles VIII grants letters of remission to Jacques de Brézé for the murder of his wife in August 14866.

In 1486, Guy de Pons (May 11, 1431-1510), son of Jacques I de Pons, Lord of Ribérac, is given back his lands of Montfort, Carlux and Aillac.

The seigneury then passed directly to François II de Pons, son of François I de Pons and grandson of Guy de Pons.

The Huguenots take the castle.

In 1586, the inhabitants of Sarlat asked the army of the Duke of Mayenne to attack and demolish the castle.

François de Cazillac, Baron de Cessac, is sent to reconnoiter the place. Finally the attack does not take place.

The castle is destroyed and rebuilt five times between 1214 and 1606.

In 1606, the king asks for the dismantling of the castle without obtaining it.

In 1664, the castle is sold to Gaston-Jean-Baptiste, duke of Roquelaure.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the owner of the castle of Chabannes, in Sorges, had two towers dismantled.

From 1919, the castle belonged to Jean Galmot, a brewer and entrepreneur in the French colonies who continued the restoration of the castle.

In 1921, it was Jean Mercier who bought Montfort.

Having recovered in 1919 elements of the cloister of the church of Saint-Vaast de Béthune - destroyed during the German bombardments in 1918 - he had columns and capitals transported to the Château de Montfort to create a pergola.

In 1927, he moved there with his wife, from the Leclercq family, and their three sons.

During the war, the castle was plundered by Spanish maquisards. The latter assassinated Jean.

His wife sold Montfort in 1962.

In the 1980s, the castle was also the property of Ghaith Pharaoh, a Saudi businessman, who died in January 2017.

Currently, Montfort's listed castle is not open to the public. However, it can be admired by visiting Vitrac.



Montfort Castle

24200 Vitrac

Translated with (

free version)



To go further....

Guide Dordogne Perigord Lot Quercy

Périgord Dordogne, Quercy Lot, Agenais¿ Explorer la cité médiévale de Sarlat, descendre la Dordogne en canoë ou en gabarre, plonger dans la préhistoire à Lascaux, savourer truffe et foie gras à Cahors, admirer l'abbaye de Moissac, randonner sur un causse du Quercy¿ À vous de choisir ! Complet Toutes les informations dont vous avez besoin pour réussir et profiter de votre séjour Pratique Des centaines d'adresses authentiques choisies par nos auteurs-voyageurs Culturel Les clés pour comprendre la destination ...avec GEOGUIDE ¿ Un patrimoine unique : sites préhistoriques, sanctuaires romans, bastides préservées, châteaux forts¿ ¿ La générosité d'un terroir : bonnes adresses, escapades gourmandes, parcours dans le vignoble de Cahors... ¿ Toutes les activités de plein air : randonnée, canoë, cyclotourisme, montgolfière¿
Le Périgord des mille et un châteaux

Also to be seen in the department

A voir absolument

placeLa Roque-Gageac - Dordogne 
label Amazing... isn't it?  
La vallée de la Dordogne

Au rendez-vous du Moyen-Age

placeBeynac-et-Cazenac – Dordogne 
label cities and villages  
Le château de Lanquais

The castle of Lanquais, "the unfinished Louvre of Perigord"

placeLanquais - Dordogne 
label Remarkable buildings Castles & Monuments  
La R12

Les 50 ans de la Renault 12 à La Douze

placeLa Douze - Dordogne  
label Festivities & festivals, brotherhoods Amazing... isn't it?  

Discover the regions of the Great South