Château de Roquetaillade

Roquetaillade, 33210 Mazères, France

14th century Château de Roquetaillade is touted as one of Bordeaux’ most visited castles, but don’t let that stop you. I went during high travel season, in August, and it didn’t feel overrun.

Architecturally, it’s an interesting castle to see, because it was carefully restored between 1860 and 1870) by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc , the same gentleman that worked on the Notre Dame in Paris and was asked to design the inside of the Statue of Liberty.

Taking pictures is only allowed outside, and inside the chapel, so you have to take my word for the fact that the castle’s medieval kitchen is fascinating, and surprisingly modern. It has a center island for cooking, without visible above ground vents. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Another lovely detail inside the castle is a secret message from the original stone masons that worked on the castle. Under one of the columns in the front hall, you can see a carved monkey, eating a fruit. This was a signal to future craftsmen, that they were going to be treated fairly and paid well by the owners of Roquetaillade. Had the monkey scratched his back instead? Maybe not a good place to work!

Call/ or email ahead for information on English speaking tours.

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