Yesterday we toured Chateau de Bonaguil, a nearby historic castle that we had painted from afar in 2013 but never visited. This castle is the culmination of building first recorded in 1271. Built upon a steep rock in front of a hill, Bonaguil had a natural fortified defense. This rock base also provided insurance against siege due to a deep cleft that was used as a well where runoff from the castle collected. Berenger de Roquefeuil (1448-1530) was the owner responsible for a 30 year building program that created a legendary fortress equipped with a barbican, several towers, a chicane, seven drawbridges, a casemate, cannon ports, a caponiere with loopholes, and a moat. Near the end of the 18th century Marguerite de Fumel remodeled the fortress into a castle more befitting the times. She eliminated the drawbridges and fitted out the apartments in the style. Fortunately she died just before the French Revolution and didn’t live to see her beloved castle leveled down to the height of the main buildings. The place was sacked to help build the neighboring village.
When the monarchy was restored the castle was made a national historic monument in 1862 and remains so today.
What a great visit! In the evening as we enjoyed dinner on the terrace with Sally an beautiful natural phenomenon occurred across the valley. Insects began hatching, buzzing up into the warm air and wafting westward in clusters. From over a kilometer away they looked absolutely surreal. It was a magical end to a great day. Paul