Château des Milandes: a jewel of the Dordogne

Located in the Dordogne region, Château des Milandes is a must-see destination for lovers of history, architecture and natural beauty. Built in 1489 by François de Caumont, this splendid château embodies the elegance of the French Renaissance, with its clever blend of Gothic and Renaissance elements. Nestled in a verdant setting overlooking the Dordogne valley, it offers breathtaking views over the surrounding valley and the village of Saint Vincent de Cosse, home to Vol en Ballon’s hot-air balloon launch pad, making every visit an unforgettable experience.

A rich and varied history

Château des Milandes has stood the test of time, bearing witness to the social and political changes that have marked France. It is best known as the home of Josephine Baker, the famous Franco-American singer, dancer and resistance fighter. In 1947, Joséphine Baker fell in love with the château and transformed it into her personal refuge. She welcomed the twelve children she had adopted with Jo Bouillon, forming her “rainbow tribe”, a multicultural family symbolizing her ideals of fraternity and equality, and lived there until 1969.

© Dordogne Libre

A Museum Dedicated to Joséphine Baker

Today, Château des Milandes is a museum that pays tribute to the life and work of Josephine Baker. Visitors can explore the château’s many rooms, each telling a part of her fascinating story. From her flamboyant stage costumes to her personal objects and historical documents, each room in the château offers a unique insight into the life of this exceptional artist. The visit is enriched by interactive exhibits and videos that provide a deeper understanding of Josephine Baker’s cultural and social impact. An escape game has also been available on reservation for several months.

The Chapelle du Château des Milandes: A magnificent restoration

Château des Milandes, already famous for its rich history and association with Josephine Baker, has recently been enriched by another heritage treasure: the chapel, which has been magnificently restored. This painstaking restoration is the fruit of a passionate effort to restore this sacred site to its former glory.

A Spiritual and Architectural History

The Château des Milandes chapel is a remarkable example of the Gothic-Renaissance architecture that characterizes the entire estate. Built in the 16th century, it served as a place of worship for the château’s residents and local inhabitants. Its elegant architecture and ornamental details, such as colorful stained glass windows and delicate sculptures, bear witness to the art and spirituality of the period.

© Dordogne Libre

Successful catering

Restoration of the chapel was undertaken to preserve this historic jewel and make it accessible to visitors. The work focused on several aspects:

  • Structural consolidation: The walls and roof were reinforced to ensure the building’s stability and safety.
  • Stained glass restoration: The stained glass windows, some of which date back several centuries, were carefully cleaned and restored to bring out their vibrant colors and original motifs.
  • Renovation of interior decor: frescoes and sculptures were restored with particular attention to detail, bringing back the splendor of the Renaissance period.

Magnificent Gardens and Bird of Prey Shows

In addition to its historical and cultural heritage, Château des Milandes is also renowned for its magnificent formal gardens. Stroll along the impeccably maintained paths, admire the colorful flowerbeds and relax to the soothing sound of the fountains. In summer, the gardens are the setting for impressive raptor shows, where eagles, falcons and owls demonstrate their hunting skills in an enchanting natural setting. These shows add a unique dimension to the visit, delighting young and old alike.

Château des Milandes is much more than just a historic building. It’s a place steeped in emotion, history and beauty. Whether you’re passionate about French history, an admirer of Josephine Baker, or simply looking for a picturesque getaway, this château has something to seduce every visitor. Plan your visit and discover for yourself why Château des Milandes is considered one of the jewels of the Dordogne.