Visit Commarque Castle
Leisure near Soleil Plage
From prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, this castle tells the story of 15,000 years of human history in the heart of the Perigord Noir. Located between Sarlat and Les Eyzies, the Château de Commarque is a listed historical monument in a national heritage valley.
For more information about Commarque castle: http://www.commarque.com/#!home-uk/c15iy
Dive 15,000 years into the past by visiting the site independently and at your own pace, with a guide book provided, available in five languages (and in July / August follow a free guided tour with one of our experienced and professional guides). During your visit you will discover : - The prehistoric Commarque cave, through a photo exhibition (created with the assistance of the National Museum of Prehistory and the International Centre of Prehistory) and a video projection in the Great Hall of the keep. - Equipped troglodyte dwellings - The medieval fortified encampment and the fortress overlooking the Beune valley. We provide various workshops and activities relating to the different periods of the site (see the Activities page). Share your experience at Commarque with us on our Facebook page or directly on our website via the Contact page. Prehistory at Commarque. No other valley in the world contains such a large number of sites with sculptures and engravings: the Grèze with its bison; Commarque with its horse is one of the finest examples of parietal art; Cap Blanc is to sculpture what is Lascaux is to painting; Laussel with its famous Venus figurine and its prehistoric excavation sites that yield evidence of over 100,000 years of human habitation.The Commarque cave, discovered by Abbe Breuil and Pierre Paris in August 1915, was registered as a historical monument in 1924.
Why build a castle here? “The most satisfactory explanation could be the following: on the cliff overlooking the Beune, a certain Comarc received a tower for safekeeping. One of his descendants was later appointed Abbot of Sarlat during the third quarter of the 12th century. Furthermore, his descendants, with two other Beune families, assumed the duties of hereditary magistrates of the Abbey until circa 1300.” (Jean Lartigaut, Châteaux et Sociétés du XIVe au XVIe siècle, Pierre-Fanlac Ed.) In 1170, the Pope named Garin de Comarque as the 12th Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Sarlat. Located within the abbey’s territory, Commarque was situated on the road leading from Montignac to the Abbey of Sarlat, steps away from the border. In order to guarantee safety of this land, the Commarque tower was guarded by a professional soldier (milites castri) of the Commarque family. Garin de Commarque. Garin belonged to one of the native ancestral families which lived in Aquitaine on the banks of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers, where the dwindled populations of the last glacial Ice Age had taken refuge. These families of ancient Roman Aquitaine withstood the forceful germanization of Gaul under Emperor Constantine, by allying with the Church. Garin's family, including his first known ancestor Bovon de Commarque, knighted by Charlemagne, showed their strength during the invasion of the Normans, the famous Vikings. (From the work of Alain Armagnac, La Lanterne des morts de Sarlat, Périgord Culture Ed.)