Hautefort is a charming village well known for its prestigious chateau and its museum of medicine. The chateau is said to be one of the most remarkable in the Dordogne; a renaissance palace with beautiful gardens. There are also numerous shops and cafes and a market every Wednesday.
Hautefort is situated in the Perigord Noir of the Dordogne (department of Aquitaine). Bergerac and Limoges airports can both be reached in 90mins.
Hautefort was once a Roman camp, and then in the C12th it belonged to a famous troubadour poet Bertran de Born, who first sang ‘sirventès;’ songs that criticised politicians of the time; he has since been immortalized by Dante in the ‘Divine Comedy.’ The chateau was built between 1630 and 1670, in the C18th Marquis Jacques-François transformed it into a jewel of classic Renaissance architecture and in 1929 it was restored by Baron Henry de Bastard and his wife. The village meanwhile was built at the foot of the chateau in the C18th and developed slowly, with the help of the Marquis Jacques-François who erected a hospice to help and educate the poor (to give thanks to religion’s assistance) and Baron Maxence de Damas who would organise an annual party for the local community and give out wonderful presents. In 1968, a huge fire destroyed the chateau however the inhabitants of the village, having been so closely linked with the chateau throughout the years, supported the Baronness de Bastard in restoring it for a second time.
Hautefort has many very interesting sources of enrichment: hiking paths, evening animations,a “Pays d’Ans” festival, evening markets, an open-air cinema and theatre, medieval days, professional weaving workshops, a riding center, the “Coucou” lake, canoeing, quad-biking and paintball.
The museum of medicine is a must see. The former hospice erected by Marquis Jacques-François, it is built to a Greek cross design around a circular chapel and has seven rooms: the C17th room, the boys room, the chapel, the C19th room, the C20th room, the dentist room and the chemist room (www.musee-medecine-hautefort.com). The castle can also be toured including its wonderful gardens which are classified as Historical Monuments and include both informal and formal sections laid out in the C18th and C19th.
Food & Drink
The Perigord Noir is well-known for the authenticity of its farm products. In particular there are: foie gras (fattened goose of duck liver) and other products derived from fattened ducks and geese (duck breast, preserves, pâtés, sausages etc). Examples of some recipes are: duck stew, scallop of fattened duck liver and Reinette apples, flaming duck hearts in Cognac and country style duck carcass. Popular wine mainly comes from the Bergerac vineyards which produce 75% of the Dordogne’s production.
Les Foies Gras D’Erillac, Place Eugène Leroy, au pied du Château, tel: 05 53 51 61 49, www.lesfoiesgrasderillac.com, menu specialising in foie gras
La Ferme du Cochon Gourmand, La Peyre, tel: 05 53 50 51 38, www.ferme-cochon-gourmand.com, menu specialising in roast pork
Le Bistro, rue Bertran de Born, tel: 05 53 50 84 96, traditional food at cheap prices
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Hautefort. We have a large network of agents in Aquitaine. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Aquitaine matching your requirements. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Hautefort.