Between Montignac Lascaux and Les Eyzies is an incredible concentration of tourist sites , Périgord Noir is an open book on Humanity. At Tursac , there is a castle which, if you look towards the cliff rolling, will amaze you with its singular appearance. La Maison Forte de Reignac is a cliff castle , it is walled in limestone, dug by the river and shaped by men over millennia. Some say he is haunted ... He hides, for sure, dark stories and a turbulent past ... Are we going?
The Cliff Castle has not always been there. More than 20,000 years ago, it was our ancestors Prehistoric Men , who surely lived in the rock shelters and the multitude of troglodyte habitat possibilities that the site presents. Like La Roque Saint-Christophe , over the tens of thousands of years and thanks to the vagaries of the weather, the walls have been widened to provide a perfect refuge for nomadic, then sedentary Man.
A perfect refuge
A singular place, much bigger inside than we can guess from the outside
The Castle cliff as we see it, dates from the fourteenth century (the windows of the sixteenth), it is a group registered under the Historic Monuments since 1964. Who lived there? A lord with his family and his household. Because you can not doubt it before crossing the door: The Forte de Reignac House is very large inside ! The facade that can be seen, as well as the outdoor terraces 40 m high, hide a vast maze of rooms very well organized. The defensive vocation of the castle, which seemed to prepare for an attack or a siege (which never took place) is seen in the stunners present above the stairs, the loopholes for all the portable artillery of the time, the dungeon, cellars ... Faced with the river , leaned against, walled against the cliff, the Lord thus ensured perfect protection and visibility on the valley he overlooks.
The view from the terrace at the top of the castle, the river, the slopes and the parking
The site is open every day , holidays from February to the end of November and also during the Christmas holidays. It is not necessary to book , just park at the large free parking and pay the fee: a booklet will be given to you, there are no guided tours but signs and signs answer all your questions ...
The visit begins in a kitchen , where a good supper is cooking . Be at rest and observe around you. The Forte de Reignac House was inhabited until the middle of the 19 th century (approximately), it is then abandoned, then jealously kept for 50 years, until it is taken over, renovated and opened to the public for the pleasure of all in 2006.
The kitchen is a place where you can cook a lot of things ... and not just food ...
A real rural feast!
Go wash your hands before going to the table!
A museum of prehistory is installed in a great troglodyte room , to remind you that this place is the host of our ancestors for more than 20 000 years. What happened here? Who lived there? Enjoy sound effects, life artifacts and tools designed to immerse you in the mood ... Pass a stone porch before joining the Great Hall of Honor with its imposing fireplace and dining table. All rooms of La Maison Forte de Reignac are furnished with period furniture with local motifs. Made of wood and metal, they have all been carefully chosen and chosen to honor this curious and strange place .
Museum of Prehistory, Jet Weapons
Famous regional sculptures
From stairs to corridors, you are immersed in the life of the Lord , the Countess and the household. Some pieces will chill your blood, like the dungeon . While observing around you, you will see cages , strange instruments , weapons and many stuffed animals (hunting trophies). We visited the site with the family and as there is a double reading to make all the skilful staging, the children are not disturbed by the elements, which for adults knowing their use, could seem scary.
The Great Hall of Honor
The imposing fireplace that works (almost) all year long
Who sat there before me? Observing the valley?
At the top of the castle is a terrace with several shelters-under-rock . A film will interest those who want to know more, you can also walk to a strange room below the terrace, which was surely a haven for smugglers .... Then go down again cautiously and continue the circuit of visit which passes by the room of the Countess.
A staircase of stairs
You never feel good alone at La Maison Forte de Reignac ...
The dungeon and its hatch ... To feed his prisoner without seeing his executioner
Strange instruments, armor, weapons
Detail on a scary taxidermy and a strong closet where many secrets had to be concealed
The "room" of the housekeepers, with fern beds not very comfortable
The stairs to the upper terrace are steep, hold the handrail!
A beautiful view from up there and swallows not tens (depending on the season)
Go to the end of this terrace to see the hangout of the smugglers. In the distance, La Côte de Jor and Peyzac-le-Moustier.
The chamber of the Countess
Details in the room: a metal bell at the window, a jewelry box, a toilet chair (no, no link between these 3 objects!)
You arrive at the starting point, you can go to the shop . It is filled with items that will appeal to many children, there are also books and minerals, toys on prehistory, the world of the Middle Ages and knights.
The shop, which will please the big children
And also to the little ones of course
Let's be honest, here is the room that many visitors are waiting for or fearing: the exhibition on torture . Note: This room is outside the tour circuit, it can be avoided and it is prohibited to minors. I categorically advise you to take the children there, because there are very explicit illustrations on the use of instruments.
It is a collection of 60 objects of various sizes and shapes, which has already been around the world under the awareness of practices of torture in the past. Unfortunately, some objects are also contemporary and the practice of torture has not disappeared nowadays ...
You choose whether or not you want to visit the exhibition on torture
Do not count on me to explain what the bull is for, you will have to go read the panel for yourself!
A mask that fans of Leonardo Di Caprio surely know ...
A wooden cage whose use does not need to be explained
A pillory ...