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The "Châteaux des Anglais"

The "Château des Anglais" in BouzièsLifting your gaze towards the cliffs you will make out the extraordinary "Chateaux des Anglais". These fortifications, the oldest of which date from the eleventh or twelfth century, are embedded into the limestone walls all along the Lot valley.

The chateaux represent an exceptional and unique architecture with many secrets and stories.

It is thought that these fortifications are the founding constructions of many modern villages. Built high on the cliffs, they were high-shelters to house and protect people in case of attack. Each site was developed and used before the fourteenth century in a different way and they were reorganized during the Hundred Years War. The term "Chateaux des Anglais" (castles of the English) does not reflect historical reality, rather they are called so because it seems that the duration and consequences of the Hundred Years War made a lasting impression.

 

Along the Lot valley

Between Cahors and Saint-Cirq Lapopie, there are four of these extraordinary constructions. The first, the Chateau de Laroque-des-Arcs, was built under the overhanging rock, and is overlooked by the chapel of Saint-Roch. Continuing on, you will see the Château de Vers located in the western cliffs visible from the car park and tennis court. It has the distinction of having a sheltered cave that allowed villagers to hide entirely in case of invasion by enemies. A little further on you come across the Chateau de Saint-Gery, followed by the famous Défilé des Anglais at Bouzies. The latter is near the suspension bridge for which the top of the wall was restored in the nineteenth century.

The "Château des Anglais" in Cabrerets

 

In the Célé valley

Leaving Bouziès towards Cabrerets, three castles are still visible today. The Château du Diable near Cabrerets overlooks the Célé Road and Sauliac. It was called 'castle of the devil' as it served as a den of robbers during the Hundred Years War. Continuing along the Célé, you will walk below the ruins of the Chateau des Anglais at Sauliac-sur-Célé. Finally the Chateau de Brengues, dating from the twelfth century, was built into the cliff in the shelter of a large overhang.

For reasons of security and access difficulties, these sites are not open to the public. You can still view them from the bottom of valleys and admire their architecture.