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Dordogne-Perigord

 

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

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The following routing takes us along the breathtaking and celebrated belvederes from the lofty chateau de Beynac, down the Dordogne to the medieval city of Bergerac and the first vineyards.
This very pretty region is plenty of castles, in old times for merchants and armies, now for tourists. Few of it was built for decoration, but the defensive moats, towers and parapets are offset with fairy-tale pointed roofs, sprinkled with fleur de lys and topped by simply weather vanes.
The first I would advise you, leaving Domme is the 17th century . CHATEAU MARQUESSAC .Although the chateau is closed for visitors you can spend some time, walking in one of the prettiest French gardens in the region.
Try to reach LA ROQUE-GAGEAC!!
If you continue a bit further you come to BEYNAC-ET-CAZENAC, which impressive chateau was already visible from the road. It was here that a famous French comic movie was realized: "Les visiteurs" with Gerard Depardieu.
One of the most picturesque and prettiest village of France!! A perfect homogeneity nestled around one of the most beautiful cliffs of the region. Its beautiful houses are encrusted between the river and steep slopes and a 15th century, a little church is hidden at the top by almost Mediterranean foliage. Its old streets dwindle in the shadow of its walls cast in the shadow.
The medieval fortress is from 1115. Residence of Richard Lion heart during his reconquest of Aquitaine. Known as unbeatable, it was nevertheless easily taken over by Simon de Montfort during the crusade against the citizens of Albi (La croisade Albigeoise)
According to a legend, the lord of Beynac offered a huge banquet for its big enemy, the master of Castelnaud had so the opportunity his castle burned down by French spies while he was feasting. The moment after, he was thrown in a chasm and killed.
Behind the castle, the, the PARC ARCHEOLOGIQUE DE BEYNAC evokes the area's roots from Neolithic to Gaulish times.
A wooded lane north of Castelnaud follows the river past the privately owned CHATEAU DE FAYRAC, romantically restored in the 19th. Further on, in its own hamlet, Castelnaud's third chateau: LES MILANDES, a Renaissance beauty built by François de Caumont.
Why do I mention that castle? Because it was once the whereabouts of Josephine baker, the famous show revue girl. It is said that Les Milandes cast a spell over Josephine as powerful as the spell Josephine had cast over Paris with her joyful, exuberant versions of the Charleston and Black Bottom. Performed in a costume made of nothing but bananas.She bought the place and 600 acres going with it and hid there during the war for the Nazis (she was a black American).

Bibliography

-Baumgartner, Frederic. France in the Sixteenth Century. NY: St. Martin's Press,1995 -----Davis, Natalie Zemon and Farge, Arlette, editors. A History of Women in the West: Volume III, Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
-Ozment, Steven. Magdalena & Balthasar, Yale University Press, 1989. These are letters exchanged over many years between a travelling Nuremburg merchant and his wife. An interesting insight into everyday life in the 16th century..