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In the distant past, this isolated rock was used as a place of refuge and defence. Gourdon, as it appears to us today, gives a good example of a Feudal village. It is built on a peak whose impressive slopes will, after many hundreds of rock falls, end their days in the Loup River. There is only one entrance, from which you can access the main street. In former times, it was defended by a simple and harmonious Roman gate, that has been demolished at the beginning of the century. Thick, high ramparts close off the North side, which is the only point from which the village can be approached.
The castle is one of Gourdon's most important features. It has been open to visitors since 1950, and was classed as an historical monument in 1971. Its magnificent gardens were designed by André Le Nôtre. Its architecture dates from the ninth century.