Château de Losse

The 16th century home of Jean de Beaulieu, tutor of Henri lV. Guardian of the valley of the Vézère.


  • Address: 24290 THONAC
  • Telephone: + 33 5 53 50 80 08
  • Map Grid: B3
  • Tariffs: Adults: €9.50 Ages 7 - 14: €4.90. Students: 6.90.
  • Open: May to September
  • Opening Times: 11am - 6pm in high season
  • Reservation Recommended.
  • English Guides and Guided Tours Available.



The information is correct at time of writing, but may be subject to change. Prices are only meant as a guide and may not be current.


Two kilometre north of the village of Thonac, and 6kms S.W. of Montignac is the Château de Losse. It stands on an exceptional site overlooking the Vézère on a small cliff into which a huge cave has been cut. The ingenious architect has built a stone arch to support the terrace which is silhouetted in the waters below. The Château is entered through a well protected 17th century gatehouse complete with stone roof, via a drawbridge. A curtained wall with watch tower, pepper-boxes and turrets stands beside the drawbridge. The living quarters are still surrounded by moats and ramparts and when you have had your fill of gazing at the fine facade with renaissance windows, you enter the main building via a magnificent stone staircase.

The Château was built in 1575 by Jean de Baulieu, later to become Jean ll of Losse, tutor to the young King Henri lV and governor of Guyenne. The apartments are decorated with an outstanding collection of 15th and 16th century furniture and tapestries. The 17th century tapestry "Preparing for the Tourney by the Belgian Tapestry-Weaver Van de Borgt is especially worth a mention.

You enter the castle across a bridge over the moat and on to a fortified gatehouse which is the largest of its kind in Europe. This leads to the courtyard from where you get lovely views of the Renaissance castle. Inside the castle a wonderful stone staircase sweeps majestically to the upper floors. The dining room has a wonderful stone vaulted ceiling and the rooms are filled with 15th and 16th century furniture. A large terrace at the back of the castle offers views over the river. Surrounding the Chateau de Losse are its lovely gardens - awarded 'Jardin Remarquable' status in 2004. The gardens are laid out in a French formal stlye with walls of box hedging clipped into symetrical shapes. These are filled with catmints and lavenders and in my favourite part - the 'Chemin de Ronde' these are softened by the planting of white, scented roses.

Complete with paintings and tapestries the atmosphere in chateau take you back to the time of the last Valois and the first Bourbon periods.