Perigord - South West

  • Limeuil is situated where the Rivers Dordogne and Vézère meet. It lived through the horrors of Viking invasions and the Hundred Years’ War but today only three fortified gates are left to bear witness to those times. A bustling river port of old, the medieval village with its stone-built, dark-tiled houses so typical of Périgord Noir is now a charming, refreshing place in which to stop.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Church of Sainte Catherine
    • By the waterside : Rivers Dordogne and Vézère
    • Panoramas : View of the Dordogne and Vézère valleys
    • Wine : Pays du Périgord wines

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  • Perched on a promontory that offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Dordogne valley and the surrounding castles, Loubressac invites visitors to discover its charming medieval houses built of ochre stone and capped with pointed roofs. The church of Saint Jean Baptiste and the château, a manor dating back to the 15C and 18C, are worth the short climb it takes to reach them.

    Themes

    • Castles ands ramparts : The château and fortified gate
    • Panoramas : View of the Dordogne and Bave valleys

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    • Monestiés croix église

    Monestiès is nestled in a loop of the River Céro 20 kilometres north of Albi ; an old stone bridge spans the river just a stone’s throw from the fortified gate that marks the entrance to the village. Although Saint Jacques’ Chapel no longer welcomes pilgrims on their way to Compostela, it does house some exceptional furniture including a 15C altarpiece comprising 20 multi-coloured statues.

    Themes

    • Unusual sights : The altarpiece with 20 life-size multi-coloured statues

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  • This "bastide" or fortified village is situated between Agenais and Périgord ; it was founded in 1256 and had to repress many attacks by the English and recover from the Wars of Religion. Although the village has lost is ramparts, it has retained its characteristic grid pattern and the ever-bustling Place des Arcades still displays some very fine houses, for example the house of the Black Prince.

    Themes

    • Unusual sights : La place des Arcades
    • Panoramas : La vue sur la vallée de la Lède depuis le « Cap del Pech »
    • Wine : The Pays of Haut-Agenais wines

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  • Monpazier is labelled a "Grand site national", it has no less than 32 listed buildings and is regarded as the prime example of a "bastide" among the 300 in South-western France. Monpazier has had countless awards to salute, but also to protect, the outstanding heritage of this fortified village that was founded by Edward I of England in 1284.

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : The Cèpe mushroom market every afternoon from August to October (depending on growth)
    • Unusual sights : The main square with arcade

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  • Built in 1255 on a rocky spur bypassed by the River Auzoue, Montréal was the first Gascon “bastide”. The streets are laid out on a grid pattern and lead to the main square with an arcade and half-timbered houses from where visitors can discover the gothic church which is partly fortified. On the neighbouring hill of Séviac, the 4C villa paved with more than thirty multi-coloured mosaic tilings serves as a reminder that the village was built on a former Gallo-Roman site.

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Armagnac and floc (fortified wine made with Armagnac), croustade (apples in filo pastry)

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  • Perched on a hill overlooking the Lot valley, this old fortified village in the Albi region has managed to preserve its medieval character despite the passing of the years and wars : remains of the walls and castle, fortified gates, etc. Besides the charm of its white-fronted or half-timbered houses, the village boasts two religious buildings : the churches of Saint Nicolas and Sainte Foy which are both decorated with 16C frescoes.

    Themes

    • Panoramas : View from the terrace of La Toque Blanche restaurant

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  • The fortified village of Puycelsi watches over Grésigne Forest from the top of a rocky plateau overlooking the Vère valley. 14C and 15C houses made of stone, wood and brick are revealed behind more than 800 m of ramparts and the rampart walk offers wonderful views of the surrounding scenery.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts, double entry gate of l’Irissou
    • Unusual sights : Conservation orchard for old fruit species
    • Panoramas : View of Grésigne Forest, the Vère valley and the Quercy causses (limestone plateau) from the rampart walk
    • Wine : AOC Gaillac wines

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  • Far from about 20 kilometres of Sarlat, close to Lascaux, Saint-Amand-de-Coly stands comfortably between two small wooded valleys. Its 12C abbey is considered as the most beautiful fortified church of Périgord and keeps a watchful eye on the typical houses made of Sarlat’s stones and “lauze” tiled roofs in a well-matched contrast of ochre and grey colours.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : The 12C abbey-church

     

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    • Saint-Cirq-Lapopie toits et façades

    Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is perched on a cliff overlooking a meander of the Lot and is a masterpiece of medieval architecture. Surveyed by the fortified church, the houses with their sloping, brown-tiled roofs are a harmonious sight lining the picturesque alleyways. This spot has attracted both artists and writers such as André Breton who used to take up residence in the village in summer.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Lot
    • Castles and ramparts : Saint-Cirq-Lapopie castle
    • Gastronomy : Foie gras
    • Panoramas : View of the Lot Valley and the Causse du Quercy limestone plateau
    • Wine : Quercy wines

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