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
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
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
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.
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