Chateau de Val
Visit the Chateau de Val in Cantal, Auvergne
This fairy-tale castle dates from the 15th century and is located in the 'Parc des Volcans' region of Auvergne in south-central France, next to (and surrounded by, for it is on an island) an attractive lake. But the castle once stood on a hilltop, with fine views across the valley below! It was between 1942 and 1952 that the dam of Bort-les-Orgues was constructed, and the valley filled with water.
At that time, the castle was owned by the French electricity board, and had suffered from many years of abandon. At the time the dam was completed the local commune of Bort-les-Orgues acquired the castle. It has now been renovated and gained a new lease of life as a popular tourist attraction in the region.
Reached by a walkway, the castle is immediately recognisable by its six towers, each with a different design. There is also a 15th century chapel on the island, the Chapel of Saint Blaise.
Inside the castle, the large rooms of the lower floor are furnished in the rich style of the 19th century, while upstairs is reserved for art exhibitions - Chateau-de-Val is well known for the exhibitions of contemporary art that are held there each summer.
It is also possible to ascend to the roof, for a lovely view out across the lake.
Map showing location of Chateau de Val