Château de Roquetaillade: Best Castle in Bordeaux

Château de Roquetaillade is one of the castles that make Bordeaux, France a medieval gold mine. For more than a millennium, the region of Bordeaux has been home to some of the French nobility, lords, and even relatives of kings. Consequently, the city is full of buildings and structures that hail from these times and carry the traces of these families. There are two castles on the Château de Roquetaillade grounds. While one castle dates back to the 10th century, the main castle dates back to the 14th century. The main castle received some renovations during the mid-19th century and is today the most popular castle in Bordeaux with thousands visiting it every year.

Château de Roquetaillade
Château de Roquetaillade and sunset

The most interesting aspect of Château de Roquetaillade is the fact that unlike many castles in France and Europe, the castle never was sold or bought. Since the 14th century, the castle has stayed with the same family, though under different surnames.

Château de Roquetaillade exterior
Château de Roquetaillade walls

While the old castle was adequate for a time, at the beginning of the 14th century, La Motte requested permission from Edward I to build a newer castle in Roquetaillade. The reason why La Motte wanted a second castle was because the first one did not have a well. Therefore, it only relied on rain to provide the inhabitants with drinking water. This was not ideal because of threats of sieges and invasions during turbulent times.

Château de Roquetaillade tower door

The new castle was definitely more equipped to survive against enemy threats. More towers, more rooms, and storage units made the new Château de Roquetaillade a perfect place to live in and defend if needed. Although it has stayed with the same family for centuries, in the 19th century, the family needed help to transform the castle. Towards that century, Château de Roquetaillade was not in a good condition.

castle structure

In 1865, a very famous architect called Viollet le Duc came to the castle and started changing it for the better. The current interior decorations, ground floor, cellars, and stables are all results of the architect’s work. These renovations were so stunning that many call them some of the first examples of Art Nouveau movement that would come in the following decades.

castle interior
castle entrance