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Dordogne-Perigord

 

Perigord-From Beynac et Cazanac to Les Milandes of Josephine Baker 

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Nicknamed the “Acropolis of the Perigord”, lovely, honey-hued DOMME is what the French call “bastide”town, perfect balance between nature and architecture. A place not to miss.
Philippe III the Bold built it in 1281 to defend the region against the English. And this is exactly what happened! During the 100-year war, the city changed hands many times. Despite it’s lofty walls and site. And not only the English were keen to posses the place but also the counts of Perigord.
Now if you are on the D46E, you are entering Domme through the “porte des tours”, the most important of the city’s three entrances. This gate served as prison for many years and more especially to incarcerate the Templars.
The city is again like a small jewel. Romantic strolls, narrow alleys bordered by old houses hiding delicious small gardens.
As with any “bastide”, the central point of Domme is the central market square, place de la Halle, with the Governor’s House, 16th century, and a statue of Domme’s literary hero, Jacquou le Croquant, its belvedere with panoramic views from Montfort to Beynac.
Rare is the fact that in the middle of this square you have the entrance of the “GROTTOES OF DOMME”, which are a long gallery and several huge spaces with stalactites and stalagmites. Although the lower part of the cave was used as a refuge for the inhabitants during the many medieval wars. Today, the installed an elevator. Good for you tired readers ;-)
Just below Domme, some exceptionally lively Romanesque sculpture is concentrated in CENAC’s early 12th century priory of Saint-Julien. The Protestants who smashed it fortunately gave up before reaching the apse.
You have the possibility of canoeing, departing the little port of Domme-Cenac. It’s a 10 km distance, picturesque approach to the castles and you get off in Beynac, from where a bus takes you back.
West of Domme, the Dordogne river flows between famous and popular belvederes and beautiful spots. . From the lofty chateau de Beynac, you can count 6 other castles rising along the river, like the menacing hulk of Castelnaud-La Chapelle. The Dordogne dawdles through walnut country before the river Vezčre kicks in at Limeuil, and the engrossed river whiplashes some time before you see, the city of Bergerac, the first vineyards, which will keep you company all the way through the Bordeaux area and the Gironde.

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