chateau de mercues

Photos courtesy of Château de Mercuès








The bishops of Cahors retained possession of the castle for nearly 1200 years.

During the Hundred Years’ War the castle bounced back and forth between the French and English armies like a Ping-Pong ball. For years both the English and French laid siege to Mercuès, capturing and pillaging it until the two sides finally reached a stalemate, with the French buying the castle back for the sum of 1600 sheep and a piece of damask cloth. That’s not much for a castle, you might think, but the English were quite eager to leave since the French were clearly gaining the advantage.

No sooner had the English gone home than the Wars of Religion broke out and the Huguenots arrived. At one point a captain of the castle turned traitor and set Mercuès on fire. The bishop, nearly asphyxiated, jumped out of a window to save himself and landed in the arms of the Huguenots. Made to watch Mercuès torn apart and looted, the Huguenots then dressed him in his Episcopal robes, turned inside out, and sent him off on an ass.

Pamela’s Perspective

Less touristy than the neighboring Dordogne region, Quercy is an area with a unique historical and cultural identity.

Although lovely, some of the rooms at Mercuès are in a building apart from the castle. I would opt for a room inside the castle if price is no object.


Château de Mercuès

A 13th-century castle


46090 Mercuès
Tel: ++33 (0)5 65 20 00 01
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

30 rooms, including 6 suites

Double rooms: 198–297 euros
Rates do not include breakfast.
Packages and half board available.

Open: Around Easter until mid-November
Restaurant is closed on

Getting there

The castle is 8 km west of Cahors on D-911. The nearest rail station is in Cahors.

What to do

On site: swimming pool; tennis; wine cellar
Nearby: fishing; horseback riding; golf


Perched on a rocky outcropping, the Château de Mercuès presides over the Lot Valley. Views are spectacular, the grounds are lovely, and everything is first class in this beautiful castle hotel.

Even the bishops didn’t live in accommodations as posh as today’s regally furnished guest rooms, filled with fine antiques and carpets. The guest room in the tower, Le Tour, is the prime pick, with its surrounding windows that overlook the countryside. A glass ceiling slides back exposing the beams of the tower.

The castle’s restaurant is elegant and highly regarded. Cuisine is high gourmet, complemented perfectly by the castle’s own wine. Breakfast is served on an outside terrace with wonderful views of the countryside.

Something special

curlicueThe castle produces its own wine.