Curemonte is a medieval village characterised by its three castles, and is officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The village flourished in the 11th century, while merchants were passing through the Viscounts of Turenne. In a fortified position on a ridge overlooking a valley on both its eastern and western flanks, the village has historically had a strategic importance in the area. Its inhabitants are called Curemontois. The existence of Curemonte is confirmed since 860. Raymond de Curemonte was a vassal of the Viconte de Turenne and accompanied him in the First Crusade in 1096. For his services he received the right to his own castle. The municipal coat of arms corresponds to that of the Plas family from Curemonte. Today’s small town has three castles and just as many churches. The Halle aux Grains market hall from the 19th century is also worth seeing. The Château de Saint-Hilaire stands at the center of the castle walls and dates back to the 13th century. The château originally belonged to the Saint-Hilaire family, later to seigneur Aymard de Loangeles. On one of the towers there is a lion, the heraldic symbol of the Lostang dynasty. In the 16th century the castle went to Gabriel de Cardaillac. The Cardaillac family was originally from Quercy and Rouergue. Through marriage, the estate eventually came into the possession of the von Plas family.
The Château des Plas (also known as the Château de Saint-Hilaire et des Plas ) stands next to the older Saint-Hilaire Castle on the inner wall of the fortifications, and dates back to the 16th century. The ensemble of buildings has been a French cultural monument since 1991. Curemonte can be thought of as the co-lordship of the two families Le Plas and Saint-Hilaire from the 16th century, with the Saint-Hilaire being the elder family in relation to Curemonte. However, the name Plas can be traced back to the 11th century in the parish of Loangeles. From the 16th century, the domiciles of both families were within the same castle wall, and a Ganerbenburg was formed. The construction of the additional castle was probably promoted by Jean IV de Plas in the years 1543-1547. He was under the kings Louis XII and Francis I as an ambassador in Scotland. For his reliable services he was appointed bishop of Périgueux by Francis I in 1524. He was also a Doctor of Canon Law at Sorbonne in Paris. In the castle hall you will find the inscription ung Dieu, ung Roy, une Foy, une Loy (“one god, one king, one faith, one law”). This was the motto of the Royalists and Catholics of the time. The 14th century Château de la Johannie was erected by the Les Jean family, who had established themselves in Curemonte in the 13th century. In 1940 Romancière Colette stayed in Curemonte, and wrote her Roman ‘Journal à rebours’ here.
We highly recommend to go visit this very old historic and cultural monument, which is engraved in tales of the past.