Surrounding area • Villages and fortified towns


Strategic site


The medieval village of Turenne was located at the crossroads of regions and trade and religious routes, between the Limousin, Périgord and Quercy regions. As an extension of this strategic choice, it was positioned on a very steep hill to become a virtually impregnable defensive site.

Listed as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, Turenne today boasts a unique historic ensemble, with narrow streets, small squares, gates, passageways under porches, houses huddled together, etc. The roofs are also of great importance, forming a veritable landscape in their own right. First came the slate roofs, then the flat pink and brown tiles, followed by the heavy slate roofs from the north of Brive, allowing the roofs to slope more steeply.

You can only visit the village on foot, thanks to a circuit marked out by 10 signs, leading from the bottom of the village to the Château. Built in the 11th century, the castle occupied the entire platform at the top of the hill. It was supported by several towers, of which only two remain today, but which bear witness to the power of this fortress.

Turenne stands on a 160-metre high hill overlooking the Tourmente valley. The walk from the bottom of the village to the castle is only a kilometre and a half long, but some of the lanes are very steep, so the visit is unfortunately not suitable for everyone.

Finally, with the Château half-destroyed, all you can do today is visit the Guards’ room, the esplanade and the top of Caesar’s Tower (accessible via a spiral staircase – acrophobics please!), the walk is more suited to the more athletic and lovers of superb panoramas.