Architecture of the castle

The castle, which dates back from Middle Age, was completely transformed at the classical period.

The middle ages : the time of warriors

pont-levisThe first owner of the estate was Guy de Lastours, around the year 1000. Gouffier de Lastours, one of this descendents, is thought to be one of the 30 knights who entered Jerusalem in 1099 alongside Godefroy de Bouillon.
In the 12th century an alliance was formed, meaning the fortress belonged to the De Born family, represented by two feuding brothers, Constantin and the famous troubadour Bertran de Born. The medieval fortress, which we only know about through writings, then consisted of a keep and several towers linked by battlements.
In the 15th century, the Château passed to a branch of the De Gontaut family, who took the name and coat of arms of Hautefort.

The 16th and 17th centuries: the golden age of the Marquis de Hautefort

salle des tapisseriesAs times and fashions changed, the fortress gradually turned into a place of leisure. The Château experienced its most sumptuous period in the 17th century.
François de Hautefort and his grandson Jacques-François worked successively with two architects from out of Périgord: Nicolas Rambourg, from Lorraine, then a Parisian, Jacques Maigret. The Château was gradually stripped of its defensive functions to become a “modern-style” château, formed of a corps de logis and two wings at right angles, punctuated by two circular towers.
In its classicism, Hautefort more closely resembled a Loire château than the castles of the region. Its imposing and majestic form simply reflects the power of the Lords of Hautefort.

The 18th and 19th centuries: uncertain times

galerieDuring the French Revolution, the de Hautefort family did not emigrate. The château, used as a “prison for suspects” from 1793 to 1795, was saved from destruction.
The family owned the place until the end of the 19th century. The widow of the last owner descended from the De Hautefort family, Count Maxence de Damas, sold the Château in 1890 to a rich industrialist, Bertrand Artigues.
After he died without heirs in 1908, the Château fell into dilapidation, culminating in 1925, when estate agents acquired, ransacked and abandoned it, very nearly causing it to disappear forever.

The 20th century: rebirth and recognition

cèdreIn 1929, Hautefort was saved by the arrival of Baron Henry de Bastard and his wife Simone, who fell in love with it. Fascinated by the place and the history of the castle, they gave new life to the residence and its gardens. Only after the death of her husband in 1957 did the Baroness finish the work and settle in the Château in 1965. Nonetheless, she was forced to watch, powerless, when a fire ravaged the corps de logis of the Château in the night of the 30th to the 31st of August 1968.
The very next day, the Baroness de Bastard decided to restore her château again. Moved by her passion and determination, everyone worked to help and encourage her, from the villagers to the celebrities of the day, such as Pierre de Lagarde or André Malraux. So many passionate people, both anonymous and famous, took part in rescuing one of the most prestigious monuments of the south-west of France.

History of the gardens

From the 17th century, there have been formal gardens at Hautefort. However, the latter were destroyed during the following centuries, to give way to those we now admire today.

The formal gardens

jardins de hautefortIn 1853, Count de Choulot undertook a complete remodelling of the gardens at Hautefort at the request of the Baron de Damas, who became the owner of the Château de Hautefort by marriage to  Charlotte de Hautefort in 1818.
At Hautefort Choulot executed an ambitious plan, which reflected his concern with bringing together the Château, gardens, park and surrounding countryside to form a coherent and distinguished whole. The former forecourt was landscaped with formal gardens, with lawn parterres bordered with flowerbeds. Another formal parterre was created at the foot of the terrace in the court of honour.
The transformation of the garden was carried out in the 20th century by the Baron and Baroness de Bastard, mainly between 1950 and 1980. On the esplanade, a green avenue of Canadian thujas, flanked by a box parterre, replaced the former service quarters, destroyed at the end of the 19th century. The parterres designed by Choulot have been preserved, but the lawn and flowers have disappeared to make way for the box hedges and topiary (the art of sculpting plants). The north terrace has also been planted with box hedges, alternating with rows of yew trees.
Laid out in terraces around the château, the formal gardens form a verdant setting,  ideal for an unforgettable stroll.
These gardens are one of the great contributions made by the Baroness de Bastard towards rescuing the Château de Hautefort, and even today, they contribute to the fame of the domain and the pleasure of visitors.

The landscape gardens

buis 1The Count de Choulot replaced the formal park with a landscape garden in the 17th century. This park, made up of winding avenues, boasted varied views over the surrounding countryside and the Château. The nearby buildings were hidden by conifers. The park also offered many sculptures, a wide variety of plants, as well as an artificial lake created near the top of the hill.

Portrait of the owners
of Hautefort

Bertran de Born

Bertran de Born
Around 1140 – 1215


Bertran de Born was born around 1140 in the manor of Salagnac on the outskirts of Périgord and Limousin. His parents, Bertran de Born senior and Ermengarde, had three children: Bertran, Itier and Constantin de Born.

The Château de Hautefort supposedly came into the De Born family when Constantin de Born married Agnès de Las Tours. The date of the marriage is not known, but we know that Olivier de Las Tours (Constantin’s stepfather) died around 1160 and the De Born family appeared at Hautefort between 1159 and 1179. In the 1160s, Bertran de Born married Raymonde, Olivier de Las Tours’ sister.
At the end of the 12th century a war broke out between the two brothers, who fought for possession of the Château de Hautefort. Bertran, having driven out his brother, became the master of Hautefort. It seems nonetheless that Constantin was the real heir to the Château, as the rights of Agnès, the daughter of Olivier de Las Tours, take precedence over those of the sister of the latter.

Many changing alliances were made to gain control of the Château, which had become a political matter. Constantin took the side of Henry II Plantagenet and his son, Richard the Lionheart, while Bertran took the side of the King’s eldest son, Henri Court Mantel. The supporters of the latter sought to regain control of Aquitaine, of which he was not given a share. In 1183, Richard the Lionheart and his ally, the King of Aragon, laid siege to Hautefort, and after a siege lasting eight days, the Château fell. Bertran was taken prisoner and Hautefort was handed back to Constantin.
King Henry II Plantagenet, upon arriving at Hautefort shortly afterwards, was moved by the troubadour’s behaviour during the interrogation that was inflicted on him. By skilfully describing the pain caused to him by the death of his friend Henri Court Mantel, he obtained a pardon from the King, in virtue of the friendship between him and his son. He returned the Château de Hautefort to him, while Constantin was driven away.
In the Divine Comedy (Inferno, XXVIII, 112-142), Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) described the terrible ghost of Bertran de Born, who wanders in Hell, carrying his head in one hand like a lantern, to expiate his crime of causing son to rise against father. (Henri Court Mantel and Henry II Plantagenet, King of England).
At once a lord of Aquitaine, poet, troubadour, warrior and monk, Bertran de Born distinguished himself from his contemporaries. The importance of his political role and the renown of his songs beyond his native province make him a unique case. He is considered as one of the masters of sirventes, a type of Occitan political poetry. His poetry, which sometimes tackles very violent topics such as the joys of war, ranks among the major works of medieval Occitan poetry.

François, marquis de Hautefort

François, marquis de Hautefort
Around 1547 – 1640

François de Hautefort was born to Louise de Bonneval and Gilbert de Hautefort around 1547 at St Michel de Boulogne (Ardèche).
A gentleman in the chamber of King Henry III and the captain of 100 men-at-arms by royal ordinance, in 1579 he married Louise des Cars, the eldest daughter of François Péruse des Cars and Claude de Beauffremont, owners of the Château d’Excideuil. Eight children were born of this union, including Charles de Hautefort, designated sole heir at the age of 15, after the death of his mother in 1595.
If François de Hautefort preferred to live a quiet life in his many properties to marrying again, he nonetheless did not forget the grandeur of his house and the future of his son Charles. He successively bought land and titles: la Borie in 1595, the rights to the justice of Nailhac, St Orse, Le Temple and Génis in 1600, the county of Montignac in 1603. When land ownership increases, the residence must reflect the family’s growing social status. The old medieval fortress was gradually transformed into a prestigious residence. At the end of the 16th century, François de Hautefort asked Nicolas Rambourg to create an overall plan of the château.
François de Hautefort continued to find favour in the court of successive kings, and in 1614 the regent Marie de Médicis granted the Hautefort family the title of Marquis.

Charles de Hautefort, who embarked on a brilliant military career, married Renée du Bellay on the 13th of January 1608. The heir to Hautefort married very well. Renée du Bellay was, in fact, the heir to a considerable estate in Maine (La Flotte, Hauterive, Bellefille) and her family had a sound reputation in the royal court. Her mother, named Madame de la Flotte à la Cour, goddaughter of Catherine de Médicis, always found favour with the royal family. Charles de Hautefort and Renée du Bellay, who had six children, died in 1616 and 1631, before their eldest son Jacques-François de Hautefort reached 18. The latter was emancipated in 1633 by François de Hautefort, his grandfather.
The old Marquis signed his will on the 5th of April 1632 in Thenon, leaving his fortune to his grandson. He ended his long life on the 23rd of May 1640, and was buried, according to his wishes, in the chancel in Church of Ajat (Dordogne).

Jacques François, marquis de Hautefort

Jacques François, marquis de Hautefort
1610 – 1680


Jacques-François de Hautefort was born at the Château de Hautefort in 1610. He was the son of Charles de Hautefort and Renée du Bellay and the grandson of François, Marquis de Hautefort.
His grandfather signed his will in Thenon on the 5th of April 1632, leaving his fortune to Jacques-François, whom he emancipated in 1633. He could then receive a gift from his great-uncle, Charles, Count des Cars, en 1625. He inherited the estates of La Forêt, Génis and Savignac. Furthermore, François de Hautefort surrendered his rights over the property of the Cars to the “petit marquis”, who in 1635 collected his inheritance from his aunt, Madame de la Guitterie.

A brilliant soldier, he first saw action when very young, in the army of Louis XIII. In 1656, he was made First Equerry to the Queen Mother, Anne of Austria. He received confirmation of the elevation of the Hautefort title to Marquis and of the elevation to lordship of Montignac, Juillac and Ségur en Limousin from Louis XIV. His military campaigns and service to the court did not distract him from the work of rebuilding the Château de Hautefort, of which he is considered the “main architect”. A Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit, adviser to the King, Field Marshall and Equerry to the Queen, his responsibilities to the royal family were considerable. He developed foundries in Pays d’Ans and became one of the main suppliers to the armies of Louis XIV. His new-found fortune allowed him to embellish the Château considerably.

As a bachelor not inclined towards luxury, he was seen as a “miser” in the court. It is even claimed that Molière was inspired by him when writing the character of d’Harpagon in l’Avare. Indeed, he preferred saving all his resources for work on the castle and his life’s work, the Hospice de Hautefort, which he founded in 1669. He thus became the benefactor of the poor in his marquisate. This building, reminiscent of the plan of Salpétrière à Paris, had room for 33 poor people. Today, the Hotel-Dieu houses an original museum of history of the Medicine.

The Marquis died without an heir on the 3rd of October 1680, aged 70. He is buried in Paris. He was responsible for acquiring all Hautefort’s titles.

Marie de Hautefort

Marie de Hautefort
1616 – 1691


The daughter of Renée du Bellay and Charles de Hautefort, Marie was the sister of the Marquis Jacques-François de Hautefort and the granddaughter of François, Marquis de Hautefort. Born in 1616 at the Château de Hautefort, she never knew her father, who died two months after her birth in Poitiers.
Marie was still very young when she had the wish to discover Paris and life in the royal court. Her wish was granted when, aged 12, she became maid-in-waiting to Marie de Médicis in 1628.
King Louis XIII noticed her straightaway. Her beauty, modesty, piety and virtue ignited true passion in the King. Their relationship remained platonic, however. It is also said that Marie was quite acquisitive, haughty and prone to complaining most bitterly. When she was in a bad mood, the King called her “the creature”. In court, she was named “la belle Aurore” (“beautiful Aurore”) by everyone.
Following the journée des Dupes and the Queen going into exile, Marie entered the service of Anne of Austria, becoming her confidante and devoted friend. Richelieu attempted, in vain, to make her spy on the Queen. Marie thereby became an enemy of the Cardinal, who kept her away from the King by providing him with a new mistress. After criticising the King’s new favourite, Henri Coiffier de Ruzé d’Effiat, Marquis de Cinq-Mars, she became involved in intrigues, which caused her to fall from favour with the King and be exiled to the Château de La Flotte in 1639. Thus began a long friendship with Paul Scarron.
After the deaths of the King and Cardinal Richelieu, Marie was back in favour when she returned to the Court of France in 1643. Once more the darling of the court, she once more rejected the most advantageous marriages. However, her scheming against the new cardinal, Mazarin, earned her a second period of exile on the 14th of April 1644.
This time she withdrew to a convent, until she married Maréchal Charles de Schomberg on the 24th of September 1646.

When her husband died on the 6th of June 1656, Marie, then aged 40, returned to Paris and became involved in a great battle of the salons. When Louis XIV divided his kingdom, he suggest to Marie that she accept one of the most elevated positions in the Court, that of lady-in-waiting to the Dauphine. In spite of the King’s insistence, Marie refused because of her age and state of health. From then on, she dedicated herself to charity.
On the 1st of August 1691, “la belle Aurore” died at the age of 75. As she refused to be buried in a cemetery, her body rests in the church of Saint-Nicolas des Champs.

The baron de Damas

The baron de Damas
30th of September 1785 – 6th of May 1862


Ange Hyacinthe Maxence, Baron de Damas de Cormaillon, was born in Paris on the 30th of September 1785. He was the son of Charles, Baron de Damas, of the Burgundy branch of this family, known as d’Anlezy, and of Marie Gabrielle Marguerite de Sarsfield. His family immigrated to Russia in 1791. Aged 15, he joined the Tsar’s army.
In May 1814, he was appointed gentleman-in-waiting to the Duchess of Angoulême and aide de camp of the Duke of Angoulême. Lieutenant general in 1815, he was made a peer of France in 1823.
As the Secretary of State for War from the 19th of October 1823, his ministry was essentially noted for the founding of a weapons manufacturer in Châtellerault, the law extending military service to eight years and his refusal to retire the old generals of the Empire. Although he preferred the Ministry of War, he accepted, at the request of the Prime Minister, the Count de Villèle, the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, replacing Châteaubriand, on the 4th of August 1824. He followed the Count de Villèle after the ministry collapsed on the 3rd of January 1828.
On the 22nd of April 1828, Charles X, whom he had always been close to, appointed him governor of his grandson, the Duke of Bordeaux – the future Count de Chambord or Henry V – to replace Charles-François de Riffardeau, Duke of Rivière, who had died the day before. The Baron de Damas dedicated himself unflinchingly to this task, remarkably educating his pupil on an intellectual level, by inculcating him with ultra-conservative political ideas. At the time of the revolution in July 1830, the Baron de Damas obtained the act of abdication of the King in favour of his grandson, on the 2nd of August 1830 at Rambouillet.
He drafted the act himself, which the King signed, before going into exile with the Court, leaving for England from Cherbourg. The Baron de Damas remained the governor of the Duke of Bordeaux until 1833 and was therefore an important figure of the Court, in exile in Holyrood and Prague.

After sending back the Jesuit Fathers he had summoned to help him in his role as governor of the Duke of Bordeaux, he retired to Hautefort in 18ee, with his wife Charlotte Laure de Hautefort (1799-1847), daughter of the Count Armand-Louis-Amédée de Hautefort (1776-1809) and Julie-Alix de Choiseul-Praslin (1777-1799). He devoted the end of his life to managing the Hospice de Hautefort, promoting agriculture by setting up a scholarship and writing his memoirs (Baron de Damas, Mémoires (1785 – 1836), published by his grandson, the Count de Damas, Paris, 1922).
He died in his hotel in Paris VIIe on the 6th of May 1862, after having seen his former pupil twice, in Prague in 1851 and at Frohsdorf in 1857. His funeral took place in the parish of Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin on the 9th and he was buried in Anlezy (Nièvre).

The Baronnes Simone de Bastard

The Baroness Simone de Bastard
1901 – 1999


Upon the death of the Baron de Damas (1785-1862), his son, Count Maxence de Damas de Hautefort (1822-1887), inherited the Château de Hautefort. After centuries of belonging to the same family, the Château became the property of Mr Bertrand Artigues, following the sale in 1890 by the widow of Count Maxence de Damas de Hautefort. The new owner was an industrialist, who made his fortune with the digging of the Panama Canal. Sensitive to the history of the château, Mr Artigues restored his property while respecting the spirit of the place. He also played a very active role in the first Félibrée (a celebration of Occitan culture) held at Hautefort in 1899.

Mr Artigues died in 1908, without heirs, thus leaving his property to his brother and charitable organisations. In the following years, the Château and its land were sold to estate agents who ransacked it completely. This period of neglect ended in 1929, when a young married couple, the Baron and Baroness de Bastard, bought the dilapidated and uninhabitable Château. It was the start of a new and remarkable chapter in the history of the Château.

The Baron came from a long line of aristocrats who were already established in Périgord, but who had no connection with Hautefort until that point. Henry de Bastard (1894 – 1957), a man of culture and of remarkable taste, married Simone Julie Weill (1901-1999), the daughter of David David-Weill, the main shareholder in the Lazard merchant bank. The restoration of the Château de Hautefort was incontestably the Baron de Bastard’s idea, but his wife, who shared his enthusiasm, made it her life’s work.

From 1929 until the start of the Second World War in 1939, the Baron and Baroness undertook major work, paid for entirely by the Baroness’s father. The Baroness later estimated the cost of restoration at 30 million new Francs. The gardens surrounding the castle were also restored and, to an extent, redesigned in the years following the war. A short while after the death of the Baron, the Château, then listed as a historic monument, was restored under the supervision of a chief architect of historic monuments, a representative of the State from the Ministry of Culture. In the early 1960s, the restoration work and the furnishing of the inside were completed, and the Baroness finally settled into her apartments. At this time, the gardens, the inside court and several rooms were opened to the public.

In the night of the 30th of August 1968, the nightmare began. During a party among friends, some teenagers who had gone up to see the roof carelessly put out their cigarettes in the sawdust. A few hours later, the fire spread to the roofing, which collapsed onto the lower storeys, and the main body of the central building was reduced to an empty shell. The extent of the damage would have discouraged many people without the perseverance, tenacity and passion of the Baroness. Without hesitation, at the age of 67, she restored Hautefort for a second time, investing her personal fortune in it, and, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry for Regional and Local Institutions, a national committee was set up to encourage her and help her find private funds on top of those already contributed by the public sector.
She gave the assurance that all the public and private money would be used to restore the monument and thus ensure that its majestic form would dominate the horizon for years to come. The restoration of the interior and furnishings were entirely financed by the Baroness and the David-Weill family. Most of the paintings and furniture which are now preserved in the Château come from the collection of David David-Weill. The Baroness was his heiress.

The Baroness’s efforts were crowned with success, with the structure of the monument being restored in just a few years. She was able to settle in the Château in 1976. In 1985, she married General Maurice Durosoy, who distinguished himself in the Army and was highly decorated. When Madame Durosoy (always called “la Baronne”, or “the Baroness”) died in 1999, she was admired and respected by all.

When the Baroness started restoration work at the Château de Hautefort, after the fire of 1968, she clearly announced that she was doing it to save one of the jewels of France’s architectural heritage, and ensure it would be preserved for future generations. In a letter she wrote to the Ministry of Culture, a few weeks after the fire, she said:

“I would nonetheless like any future Foundation to preserve Hautefort’s qualities of openness and accessibility that my husband and I wished to confer on it, a character that was felt by the public particularly strongly, if we are to believe the innumerable testimonies that I received from the inhabitants of the town, the region, from friends and strangers, who were all devastated by the disaster.”

The foundation set up in 1989 by the Baroness de Bastard, the Fondation du Château de Hautefort, was recognised as a public utility in 1990 by decree of the Conseil d’Etat, a French government body. As she died leaving no descendents, the Baroness bequeathed the Château, its contents and its lands to the Foundation. She also left it financial products in order to safeguard its future. Since 1999, Michel David-Weill, the Baroness’s nephew, is the main patron.

Portrait of the architects
of the castle

Nicolas Rambourg

Nicolas Rambourg
1559 – 1649

Nicolas Rambourg was a pupil of Nicolas Ribonnier (around 1525 – 1605), a great builder and decorator from the town of Langres. When he “graduated”, Nicolas Rambourg settled in Périgord. He was probably recommended to his first client by the high dignitaries of the Church of Langres.

The Château d’Excideuil, attacked several times and in very bad condition, was his first project. He displayed the many facets of his talent: as a military engineer (the double fortifications), then as an architect (construction of the entrance tower) and finally as a sculptor (decorating the sculpted banded columns on the battlement door).

François de Hautefort, having seen Nicolas Rambourg at the residence of François Péruse des Cars, his stepfather and the lord d’Excideuil, must have called on his services as the work on the Château d’Excideuil neared completion, around 1587. His first assignment at Hautefort focussed on the defences, restoring the damaged walls and fortifying the main entrance with a drawbridge. He had to virtually rebuild the west wall as far as the Tour de Bretagne tower, by connecting it with solid, crenulated fortifications with portcullises, shooting slits for various shots for missiles of various sizes. He also played the role of decorator, a fact borne out by sculpted banded columns, the chiselled wall-walk, the stylised gargoyles, etc.

Nicolas Rambourg worked in Dordogne for his entire career. He worked at the Château de Hautefort and the Château d’Excideuil, but also at the Château de la Surdie near Cubjac, at the Château de Sauveboeuf near Aubas, at the stately home of François de la Borie near Périgueux, etc.

Nicolas Rambourg social climb is remarkable. Through his marriage to Jeanne Goumard in around 1595, he joined the local bourgeoisie. Through his talents as an architect, military engineer and decorator, he built himself a solid reputation. He died not at his own home in Genèbre, but at the Château de Hautefort, in 1649 at the age of 90.

Sandrine Gendry, Nicolas Rambourg architecte sculpteur 1559 – 1649, BSHAP tXCVI, 196

Jacques Maigret

Jacques Maigret
17ème siècle.

We have very little information on Jacques Maigret, whose name appears for the first time in a sculpture publication from 1670. He was recruited in Paris by Jacques-François, Marquis de Hautefort, in order to continue the work of Nicolas Rambourg, who died in 1649.

Jacques Maigret began work around 1669-1670. He built the tower on the east wing, in symmetry with the Tour de Bretagne tower, in order to build the new chapel on the ground floor and service areas on the lower levels (furnace, bakery, rotary sieve and laundry). He also redesigned the interior courtyard of the Château, by opening it onto the countryside. He is also credited with the roofing: the roof lanterns on the towers, eight-sided roof lanterns on the roof structure topped with an “imperial” lantern, the wing of the entrance tower, etc.

If Nicolas Rambourg is the architect of the Château, Jacques Maigret is the architect of the Hospice de Hautefort almshouse, built at the behest of the Marquis, according to the edict of Louis XIV of the 14th of June 1662. The deed of foundation of the 4th of February 1669 mentions all the Marquis’ intentions to respect the King’s wishes: the confinement, education and employment of the poor. The hospital of Hautefort is one of the great hospital buildings of the 17th century.

François Jeanneau, l’hôpital de Hautefort (Dordogne), extract from the Bulletin de l’association pour le développement de la recherche archéologique en Périgord, N°1, 1986.

The Count de Choulot

The Count de Choulot
1794 – 1864


Paul de Lavenne was born on the 31st of January 1794 in Nevers. He was a bodyguard and cavalry Lieutenant for Louis XVIII, to whom he owed his title of Count de Choulot. Before the accession to the throne of Charles X, he went from the royal household to that of the Duke of Bourbon, Prince de Condé, as capitaine général des chasses (captain of the royal hunt) at Chantilly.
The Revolution of 1830 turned his career upside down. His loyalty to the legitimate dynasty made him an opponent of Louis-Philippe, and he became such an important go-between that it was he who communicated the instructions of the royal family in exile to Châteaubriand (François-René de Châteaubriand, Mémoires d’Outre-tombe, volume 37, chapter II).

In his forties, the Count de Choulot became passionate about gardening and took up the position of head of a new school, which formulated a theory of modern gardening based on changing ideas and social mores. In Nevers, in 1846, he announced the publication of an “Introduction”, which formed a kind of manifesto. He effectively promoted a new concept for parks in agricultural and rural areas. One of his key principles in park design was the creation of visual connections between the inside of properties and the surrounding landscape.

The Count de Choulot designed over 250 parks in 51 French départements, most notably the Parc du Vésinet. He also worked in Geneva and Italy for King Charles Albert. The plan of the Parc de Hautefort was conceived in 1853 at the request of the Baron de Damas, who had become the owner of the domain by marrying Charlotte de Hautefort.

Yves-Marie Froidevaux

Yves-Marie Froidevaux

Appointed head architect of historical monuments, in 1939, Yves-Marie Froidevaux also worked in Dordogne. He restored many buildings protected as historical monuments: Romanesque churches, châteaux, particularly those of Puyguilhem, Beynac, Biron, Bourdeilles, Jumilhac le Grand… He can also be credited with protecting and drawing attention to the historic centre of the town of Sarlat.

He started work at the Château de Hautefort in 1938, with modest maintenance programmes with the Baron Henry de Bastard. It was only when the Château was made a listed building in 1958 that major restoration work began, carefully supervised by the Baroness de Bastard. In 1959, Yves-Marie Froideveaux built the court side wall of the west wing, thereby bestowing the order of the classical architecture of the ground floor to the whole court. The coverings were regularly repaired with slates from Correze. After the fire in 1968, he directed the monumental construction site of the body of the main building.

Yves-Marie Froidevaux also restored monuments in La Manche, Vienne, and Ardennes. In 1953, he was appointed assistant to the inspector general of historic monuments, and, in 1974, was made inspector general.