Bonaguil is a castle located in the municipality of Saint-Front-sur-Lémance. Since 1862, this beautiful castle has been known as a historical monument.
History of Bonaguil
Archaeological research has shown that Bonaguil castle must have been built sometime between 1259 and 1271. A strategic location was chosen for the castle’s location, on top of a rocky point. The only entrance to the castle was built above a natural cave. The six-metre-high entrance was only accessible by ladder. Bonaguil castle was first mentioned in a charter in 1271, listing the properties of the king of France. In 1271, the castle must have represented no more than a simple quadrangular keep with a small courtyard surrounded by a wall.
The lords of Bonaguil fought alongside the king of England in the Hundred Years’ War. The castle was captured, burned, and then abandoned several times. Between 1470 and 1482, the castle was restored after all the destruction. Among other things, the keep was reinforced so that it could better withstand artillery. Moreover, an outer wall 350 metres long was added to the castle to keep the artillery at bay. These outer walls were fitted with small towers with guns. The castle changed hands several times over the centuries, until it was bought by the municipality of Fumel in 1860. The castle was classified as a historical monument, and fully restored.
Today, Bonaguil is a true gem of medieval architecture. The castle is known as one of the most beautiful castles in France. A visit to this castle offers a unique insight into the transformation that castles have gone through over the centuries, caused in part by the invention of gunpowder and the rise of artillery. At the top of the keep, you can marvel at stunning views of the castle and the surrounding countryside. Moreover, the castle hosts an annual festival in the first week of August. A visit to Bonaguil is definitely worthwhile, offering an interesting insight into life in the Middle Ages!