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Château des Milandes

Josephine Baker's country residence

Constructed during the great châteaux building period in 1489 by François de Caumont, this delightful Renaissance and Gothic structure was built in order to escape the austere medieval ediface of nearby Castelnaud where the family had lived for generations. Following the Revolution in 1789, Milandes was abandoned and later it was badly damaged in a fire.

The splendid gardens were created by Charles Claverie between 1900 and 1908 who also restored the buildings and brought the Château back to life. In 1947 the estate and nearby hamlet were bought by the American entertainer Josephine Baker who carried out many improvements.

She was also a noted philanthropist, adopting several orphaned children who were brought to live in this magnificent Château in the Black Périgord.

During WW2 Ms Baker had worked for the French Resistance and was awarded the Croix de Guerre after the War, a very rare honour for a civilian. Unfortunately, she was unable to maintain the lavish lifestyle for which Milandes became famous and in 1969 she had to sell.

The Château is now privately owned by the Labarre family and is open to the public.

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33(0) 5 53 59 31 21

Château Website



The Southern Périgord Noir (2 days)

Bastides, medieval castles and a hanging garden in Dordogne

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Photo by Paul Shawcross