Dordogne

Périgueux

by Bert Schwarz

There are six reasons to visit Périgeux.

Within the narrow limits of this capital of the department of Dordogne, you will walk in one day from the Gallo-Roman period to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Office de Tourisme has an illustrated walking map of the city and the walk through 17 centuries of history can begin.

Périgueux © Bert Schwarz

Anyone who starves to death here is to blame themselves. Dozens of gourmet shops and excellent restaurants make the city a gastronomic experience. An extra attraction is the 21 km long Voie Verte (Green Path), a tree-lined hiking and cycling trail that follows the bends of River L'Isle.

Périgueux

Story, Camera, Editor : Bert Schwarz

© travel-magazine TV 2020

Stories from
Dordogne-Périgord
Dordogne
Bergerac
In the city center the walls are old and the people young.
Château de Beynac
Discover history in one of the most authentic medieval fortresses.
Château de Castelnaud
The oldest documents mention the castle in the 13th century, where it played a role in the Albigensian crusade.
Château des Milandes
Home of Josephine Baker.
Château-Court-les-Mûts
Top wine from Périgord Purpre.
Domain de Barbe
Fois Gras, a regional specialty known beyond the borders.
Gouffre de Proumeyssac
The cave is called Crystal Cathedral because of its huge underground vault.
Grotte de Tourtoirac
The Tourtoirac cave is also called the geological pearl of the Périgord.
Hôtel de Dieu
in Hautefort contains a remarkable collection of medical equipment.
La ferme de la Brunie
is a farm where modern technology is used for the welfare of the animals.
La Gare - Espace Robert Doisneau
presents an outstanding collection of the photographic art of Robert Doisneau.
La Roque de St. Christophe
A limestone rock inhabited for 55,000 years.
Lascaux II
Palaeolithic cave paintings: Works by unknown artists who worked here up to 20,000 years ago.
Musée National de Préhistoire
The museum is home to exceptional collections of human history dating back over 400,000 years.
Périgueux
is located on the banks of the Isle river, where originally Gauls had settled.
Sarlat-la-Canéda
is the cultural and culinary epicenter of the Dordogne.
Vélorail du Périgord Vert
is like riding a pedalo - but on tracks.

Medieval Architecture

The 15th century Mataguerre Tour is an impressive remnant of the city wall that surrounded the city in the Middle Ages. The winding alleys behind the tower mostly date from the same period and have some impressive fortified residences with towers.

Périgueux © Bert Schwarz
Périgueux © Bert Schwarz

Gallic-Roman Inspiration

Vesunna is a Roman settlement from the 1st century A.D. In the Musée Gallo-Romaine de Vesunna, which is located in a large Gallo-Roman villa covered by a modern glass construction. In the many rooms of the villa, some with original mosaic floors, the excavated artefacts breathe the Roman housework and public life of the time.

Périgueux © Bert Schwarz

Catédrale St. Front

The heart of the city is the Catédrale St. Front, classified by UNESCO, which is covered with five domes. Anyone who is familiar with this is right, because it was the model for Montmartre's Sacre Coeur, the church built more than 600 years later. The towering bell tower comes from the former Romanesque church, but most of the 12th century cathedral is a pure Byzantine basilica built in a Greek cross.

Renaissance Road

The tour continues from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance in the narrow, winding streets of the old town. There are plenty of opportunities for a photo if you follow the hiking map to the marked buildings and are provided with informative historical boards. Although the restored stone buildings look like museum pieces, they are often elegant homes or offices. Other Renaissance beauties are scattered throughout the city centre.

Périgueux © Bert Schwarz

Foie Gras and other treats

The narrow, paved Rue Limogeanne, a feast for all the senses, with dozens of elegant shops dedicated to the medieval sin of gluttony. Pâté de foie gras du Perigord is the local speciality that we tasted at stands and saw a dozen shops selling other fine things: Here you can find wine, coffee, tea, oil and spices.

Walk or Cycle Green

The gourmet pleasure with its (too) many calories can then be trained again with a walk or a bicycle tour on a section of the 21 km long Voie Verte, the «green way» along the L'Isle. The most scenic part of the trail is directly opposite the cathedral. From the entrance of the cathedral you simply follow the winding Avenue Daumesnil down to the bridge, the ideal place for photos of the cathedral, and meet the asphalted path on the other side of the river.