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Dordogne-Perigord

 

DORDOGNE-Introduction

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You can arrive to the Perigord from different directions. The most familiar is the north: and then you enter the "Perigord Vert". Like I said previously, the Perigord is moreless synonym to the Dordogne departement. Henry Miller wrote one: "the nearest thing to Paradise this side of Greece's ". And if Perigord could make a wise guy from Brooklyn make sloppy, there must be something to it. 
Where does the name come from? The Gaulish nation known as the Petrcorii (four tribes) sending thousands of troops to Vercingetorix to fight Caesar. It didn't help. Perigord was subdivided into four baronies (Mareuil, Bourdeilles, Beynac and Biron). It's only at the Revolution they were all assembled into one departement. 
But let's start with the North: the Perigord Vert. It seems to me that it was Jules Verne who dubbed northern Perigord "green" where deep forests, shady ricers and green limestone hills remain luscious even in midsummer. It's a genuine shrine of green valleys and ploughed by brooks like the Dronne, high valleys of the l'Isle and the l'Auvézère. They run around the country which stretches from Lanouaille to Roche-Calais, passing Neutron, Bran tome, Bordellos and Rivera. Three larger cites for the triangular backbone of this region: Perigueux, Limoges and Angoulème. 

Chateau de Mareuil

Start at Angouleme, take south along the N 10 and aim southeast forthe Perigord, you'll enter the departement of Dordogne by way of the ancient fiefs of the barons de Mareuil. They had their home at the 15th century CHATEAU DE MAREUIL , built on a plain and defended by moats filled by the waters of the Belle. It is located 20 km northwest of Brantome on the D 939. 
This château, one of the four former Périgourdin Baronies, lies between Ribérac's large open spaces and the rugged high ground to the north. The XIIth century château still remains, with re-construction work in the XVth century.
Visit the flamboyant Gothic chapel, the dungeons and the Louis XV furniture. Try to get a good guide to tell you the anecdote of the troubadour ARNAUD DE MAREUIL.
You can have your first look a Perigord's famous domed Romanesque churches near Mareuil: just south of Mareuil, ST. PARDOUX-DE-MAREUIL has a somber model with an impressive bell tower, while the fortified church at Vieux Mareuil to the east has three domes crowning the length of its nave. For the adventurous you ca always explore the grottos "d'Argentine de la Rochebeaucourt" and a megalithic site: Eden. 
Next stop: NONTRON. 

Bibliographie


Le Périgord (1991)de Jean-Luc Aubarbier,Contes et légendes du Périgord (8 avril 1999)-Sites préhistoriques en Périgord, de Jean-Luc Aubarbier (1996), A Taste of Perigord (mars 1994), from Helen Raimes-Dictionnaire des châteaux forts par G. Penaud),Voyage dans la France des troglos
par Saletat.