Jumilhac castle

Jumilhac le Grand
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Jumilhac castle

On a lovely August morning, I decided to stop in Jumilhac-le-Grand to visit the castle. The façade is already full of charm and colourful hydrangeas decorate the walls on both side of the door.

I enter in the courtyard to get my entrance ticket. First, some important practical information, the castle does not accept credit cards. Reduced fees for the students and large families are available. It is also possible to only visit the gardens. Late openings take place every Tuesday (and Thursdays during summer), allowing you to discover the beauties of the castle by torchlight. Note that photography is not allowed indoors.

The tours are guided. While waiting for mine, I go to discover the gardens. The first thing I can see is the very round shape of the huge century old lime tree. Below, there is a bench where you can sit to admire the second terrace of the gardens. The paths are flowered, the jet of the fountain swirls in front of me and the overall park is beautifully kept. It combines a French style garden and a fashion style inspired by the classical times with a few statues around the fountains. It is at times bohemian and romantic. On my left, there is a cedar maze and on my right the rose garden in bloom. The arcades composed by several roses with various harmonious shades bring a touch of colour to the gardens as well as a lovely scent. The view on the back of the castle is very pleasant and it is a pleasure to wander in this environment ! The forest area, all around me, confirms that I am in the Green Périgord !

It is time for my guided tour ! I am now in the courtyard in order to get an explanation on the façade of the castle, which is made by a medieval part on one side and by 17th century architecture on the other. The guide talks about the different owners of the castle including the Count of Jumilhac who transformed the medieval fortress. He has added a roof on the defensive buildings. The cones are decorated by an ornamental piece representing seigneurial and alchemical allegories. There are the rights, duties and obligations of the lords during the 16th century as well as the neutrality, feminity and masculinity. It is unique, the representations are really visible from the courtyard. At the centre, there is a balcony dating from the 17th century which has been shortened during the 19th century, I really like this architecture !

I go inside to see the medieval part. The 13th century flooring is irregular, there is a defensive stairs with very high steps and the rooms are slightly dark but have beautiful furniture. The guide’s explanations are clear and put me right into the context. She has a great sense of humour and answers all my questions. She is very dynamic which gives a nice energy to the visit.

I go to the second floor by taking a spiral staircase and I enter in the bedroom of the spinster, the legend of the castle. Louise de Hautefort had been locked in this bedroom for 30 years by her jealous husband ; she painted on the walls to keep herself busy. The paintings got damaged with time but the remaining traces are amazing ! It is followed by the folk room where the population took refuge during attacks or epidemics. The furniture is very minimalist. I am now walking on the balcony providing a beautiful perspective of the village. Before, the French style park, drawn with garden’s symmetry, formed this landscape. I imagine thanks to the words of the guide the medieval layout, the curtain wall and castle life.

I head now towards the 17th century part. The contrast is obvious in terms of decoration and the indoor architecture : light yellow cut stones, paintings, furniture, monumental staircase etc… I discover the dining room as well as the kitchen. The cob laid floor is decorated with rosettes of flowers and circles and the kitchen has a large collection of brass (more than 120 pieces !). The moulds and other cooking receptacles combined with the recipes of the guide makes my mouth-water !

The first floor is very bright due to the large windows. The terrace allows me to have view over the gardens and the perspective is very nice. I enter in the large wooden living room of approximately 200m2 (2,153 ft2). It is a room dedicated to the pleasures of hunting with several paintings on the walls. On the fireplace, I guess is the monogram of Jumilhac.

A bit further, there is the small Louis XV living room where the painting of the King is looking at me out of the corner of his eyes. This room is rather colourful with light pink-green shades. Look carefully at the walls, you may find the traces of a secret passage ! I have a quick look at the office desk and then I head towards the curtain walls decorated by few flower pots. I have now the opposite perspective than before compared to the balcony. I admire this square court and the harmonious façade of the castle. This curtain wall leads to the Richelieu room which is the function room for weddings, birthdays or other events. It can accommodate up to 220 people, the windows overlook the garden and the courtyard and the beautiful wooden beams add to the charm. A place for a perfect princess wedding !

The visit ends after one hour in the souvenir shop full of various objects : knight and princesses figurines, regional products, books, magnets etc.

I spent a pleasant visit at the Jumilhac Castle, I was absorbed by the words of the guide without noticing the time. Each open door brought a new surprise, the soul of the castle is well preserved ! Its history and its architecture are worth the visit as well as the welcome from the staff of the castle and its owner. A jewel of the Green Périgord !

Enjoy your day out at the Jumilhac Castle !

For further information, click here !!

Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand

Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand
Le château de Jumilhac-le-Grand


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