Medieval Pérouges

by Bert Schwarz

Close your eyes and remember the time when as a child you did not impersonate the glorious Wild West hero, but the White Knight ... or the ladies not the beautiful Squaw but the little princess in distress...

Reconnect: Pérouges

Story, Camera, Editor : Bert Schwarz

© travel-magazine TV 2016

Stories from Franche-Comté
Who knows Les Dombes?
Around 300 m above sea level the Dombes are a rather flat place.
Nestled in a meander of river Doubs, Here's the cultivated and very attractive capital of Franche-Comté.
The medieval town centre is known for its extraordinary floral splendour and its preserved buildings.
a place practically unchanged since the Middle Ages.
a tranquil place on the banks of the Saône with a number of amazingly impressive buildings.
a small, quiet village right in the middle of the Dombes region.

Then open up your eyes and stand with your horse in the middle of Pérouges, a place that has remained practically unchanged since the Middle Ages and is probably one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Pérouges is a medieval fortified town, one of the most beautiful in France. Situated on a hill of the Dombes plateau, the town offers its visitors a view over the plain of the river Ain. Here, there is not only a great view, but it also explains very simply and plausibly why it was never taken.

Large parts of Pérouges are protected monuments. The good condition of the buildings, the great architectural diversity and authenticity of the old town, which were particularly important in the underground laying of power cables and the embedding of street lighting in the cobblestones, make them today an ideal location for filming «sheaths and swords».

Legend says that the site was founded by Gallic settlers from the Italian colony of Perugia. Later, the Romans built a tower to defend Lugdunum, Lyons.

The history of Pérouges, however, was mainly influenced by the Middle Ages. Its location made it a strategic military base. It was expanded in the 12th century and extended by a castle. Today, only the city wall still points to the fortification. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Pérouges was caught between the fronts of the war between the Savoys and the Dophinois and later between the Savoys and France. It was not until 1601 that the city finally belonged to France.

However, the military high of Pérouges was a siege by the Dophinois in 1468, from which the "Pérougiens" emerged victorious.

This was followed by an era of prosperity, characterised by a highly developed craftsmanship, especially in the textile industry. The connection to the railway network and the advent of the industrial revolution led over the years to the economic decline of the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, the settlement was largely abandoned and threatened with decay. In 1911, the Society for the Protection and Preservation of the Old Pérouges was founded under the patronage of Eduard Herriot. Pérouges was placed under a preservation order and rescued. The reconstruction has not yet been completed.