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Chateau de Fenelon, Sainte-Mondane

Birthplace of François Fénelon, archbishop, theologian & poet

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Surrounded by three walls, this medieval castle building from the 13th century has had various additions over the centuries in a more Renaissance style. 

In 1453, at the end of the Hundred Years War, the fortress began to be embellished and was eventually transformed into a Gothic mansion, decorated with dormer windows and carved fireplaces. In the 17th-century, the castle underwent its latest architectural modifications with the landscaping of a large terrace, sitting on a vaulted gallery. By 1780 the castle had fallen into disuse. Its rebirth did not begin until 1859, under the initiative of Count Ernest de Maleville and his son Lucien, a renowned painter in the region. 1927 Lucien had the castle classified as an historical monument.  

The château today houses a good collection of authentic furniture and tapestries as well as a collection of arms. Current owners, the Delautre family, continue the castle restoration work as it is considered one of the most emblematic chateaux of the Black Perigord.

Worth knowing

The most famous Fénelon to live here was François in the 17th century, who wrote The Adventures of Telemachus, a veiled criticism of the absolute rights of the Monarchy. When published some years later, when Fénelon was the Archbishop of Cambrai, he angered Louis XIV so much that the King forbade him to leave Cambrai.

Reviews

Visitor comments

  • "Gazing over the countryside from the walls of the Chateau you could imagine how it was, defending against attacking forces with a majestic view over the surrounding land. Well worth a visit, with interesting, views rooms and history." - Trip Advisor
  • "We rode our bikes up a steep hill to be greeted by the sight of the chateau perched on the hilltop. There weren't many people there, but on entering found that it dramatically exceeded our expectations. The tour is self-guided (with good English translations) and the rooms were all beautifully decked out with appropriate antique furniture." - Trip Advisor
  • "One of the nicer castles we visited. Very nicely furnished. Also very beautiful construction overall. Lovely grounds." - Trip Advisor

Booking Arrangements

When to come

Open from April to November. Closed January, February and March. Times and days may vary depending on the season so check their website in advance to avoid disappointment.

Facilities

  • Parking
  • Public car-park (outdoor)

Contact

  • Address
  • 24370