Winding staircases, towers and caves accompanied our visit to Le Château de Commarque. After exiting the bus, our group descended into an open and green valley with what was left of a magnificent stone structure into view. The building had many tours and small caves lined its base. Soon we began our tour and climbed up the stairs to the château. First we entered one of the small cave homes that were found around the bottom of the castle. The small cave contained pottery, kitchenware, small rooms for storage, livestock and what looked like a bed. I was surprised about how chilly it was inside of the rock shelter.
We continued up the hill and the guide told us about the six towers that were occupied by six different families. It was interesting to me that they all lived on the same hill because it’s easier to protect yourself in a group, despite their large family rivalries that continues to exist even today. Even more shocking to me was that even though these families spent a lot of their wealth to build these tall incredible towers, the families rarely entered these towers. Because the only entrance was an impossible and risky staircase, it not only made it nearly impossible for their enemies to enter, but it also prevented them from going into their own towers. It was just a symbol of their pride and wealth.
One of my favorite parts of our visit to le château was the view from the top of the Beynac tower. The over 150 steps through a tight spiral staircase to the top was definitely worth it. We could see rolling green hills dotted with other small castles. The visit to Le Château de Commarque was a great and memorable experience. I would say it was one of my favorites, but I feel like on this trip, every single experience has been a favorite.