In the 14th century, the Dordogne was on the battle-line between the English and the French, thus many powerful castles were built or strengthened on either side. Earlier, Beynac, one of the four baronies of Périgord, was once the residence of Richard the Lion-Hearted, who ended up being killed nearby. It's on a stunning site: at the top of 150-meter sheer cliffs above the river Dordogne, with great views over the valley and nearby castles.

Like a surprising number of these castles, it is now privately owned, and being restored with funds mostly from visitors and movie fees. (So you may actually recognize various aspects from films set in medieval times, such as the recent "Joan of Arc".)

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

Some initial views, as one approaches from various angles:

The entrance door. It only opens on the hour, so you have to time it right.
The central core of the castle. In the foreground are beatiful local yellow limestone blocks, newly-cut for restoration work. over the years, they will darken to the grey of the old walls in the background.
Another view of the keep. (Rather intimidating!)
And another little tower.

And now into the interior:

A nail-studded door. View from a high window. The Great Hall of State. A kitchen, decked out for a movie set.

Glorious views of the Dordogne valley from the high towers:

To the East, the chapel (which is also the parish church of the village) with the river far below.
To the West, bridges, hills, and more valleys.
The castle of Fayrac, now owned by some Texas billionaire, apparently. A couple of views up the valley. I believe those four windows off to the left are part of the current owners' quarters. A long way straight down!
And lastly a panoramic view from the ramparts, including Benjamin fixing his shoe: