Le Château de Castelnaud

War Museum in the Middle Ages


Castelnaud castle is built on a rocky outcrop and offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Dordogne Valley.
With its collection of arms and armour, and full-scale reconstructions of war machines (mangonel, trébuchet, pierrière, bricole), you will learn about the art of warfare in the Middle Ages and certain aspects of the lifestyle of the Lords of Castelnaud, with the medieval-style garden and the furnished keep.
The trail for self-guided walks is dotted with signposts, multimedia boards, interactive terminals and mockups. In summer, guided tours on the theme of war in the Middle Ages are given in French, English and Dutch.
Castelnaud Castle, a Historical Monument, has housed the Medieval War Museum since 1985.
The museum features a large collection of polearms, swords, daggers, artillery pieces, defensive outfits, and more…. The deliberately simple layout highlights the collections and provides detailed explanations of how arms and armour were made and used. How the fortifications and siege techniques have evolved is also explained in a slide show, films, and video games available to the public.

> The Medieval War Museum
Outside: The war machines that were used to attack castles have been faithfully reconstructed – various hurling machines such as the bricole, pierrière, trebuchet and bombarde…
Inside the museum: the artillery room, the great hall, the keep’s lower hall, the arms room, the keep’s upper hall, the mockups room, the armourer’s workshop.

Medieval shop/bookstore open all year round.


Become privileged visitors to Périgord by discovering the must-see sites at the best price!

NEWS 2024
– Meet a 13th-century Crusader knight
– Tracés de bâtisseurs” workshop
– Return from the “Sword Fighting Lesson” workshop

Self-guided walks let you explore the château at your own pace. You will discover a vast collection of arms and armour, some 250 pieces, from all over Europe. Designed to be educational, the museum walk is dotted with audiovisual aids, video games and mockups. Outside, the most powerful medieval siege machines (mangonels, trebuchets, bombardes…) have been reconstructed. The medieval garden makes a pleasant way to finish your visit. A tour leaflet in 10 languages (free of charge) is available at the entrance to the château.

In addition to the self-guided walks, outdoor guided tours help you learn more about military architecture and the art of warfare in the Middle Ages. The tour explains how siege techniques evolved, with the help of five reconstructed medieval war machines. The tour can also be enhanced with a trebuchet demonstration (1/3 scale version) operated by the guide, or a crossbow (that everyone can try shooting).

The animations

Guided tours and trebuchet firing every day from 1 April to 11 November.

– Winter holidays (10/02 to 10/03): « Down with preconceptions” guided tour – “Elegance by Claude de Cardaillac” tour from Monday to Friday – ” The Hundred Years’ War – A Century of Fashion ” exhibition.

– Spring holidays (from 6/04 to 5/05) : « Down with preconceptions” guided tour – Blacksmith (except Saturday) – “From the garden to the kitchen” tours – Meeting a 13th-century Crusader knight (Sunday to Thursday) – Sword-fighting lesson (Sunday to Thursday)

– Ascension and Whitsun Weekends: (from 8 to 12/05 and from 18 to 20/05) : “ Castle Builders” & “War Machines” tours – « Down with preconceptions” – “Builders’ & Tracks” workshop

– Summer holidays (8/07 to 1/09) : Medieval show (except Saturday) – Blacksmith (except Saturday) – Guided tours in English and Dutch – “From the garden to the kitchen” tour – “Hygiene and cleanliness” tour – Presentation: “The art of the trebuchet” (except Sunday) – Night show “In the shadow of Geoffroy de Vivans” (from 8/07 to 23/08 from Monday to Friday)

– Heritage Days: “Castle Builders” tour – Guided tour in English – “All to the Museum” tour – “Builders’ & Tracks” workshop

– Autumn holidays (from 19/10 to 31/10) : Blacksmith (except Saturday) – Meeting a 13th-century Crusader knight (Monday to Friday) – Sword-fighting lesson (Monday to Friday) – “Costume fitting” workshop

– Artillery Firing Days (1/11 to 2/11) : Firing demonstrations – “Builders of castles and war machines” tour

– Christmas holidays (from 20/12 to 5/01) : Costume fitting workshop

See our diary


24250 Castelnaud la Chapelle
Tél. 05 53 31 30 00

Open every day, all year round.
February, March and Oct. to Nov. 13: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April, May, June and September: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
July, August: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nov 14 to end of January: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Christmas holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last admission 1 hour before closing
Duration of the free visit 1h to 1h30.

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