Dordogne: Wikis

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Dordogne
Coat of Arms of Dordogne
Location
Location of Dordogne in France
Administration
Department number: 24
Region: Aquitaine
Prefecture: Périgueux
Subprefectures: Bergerac
Nontron
Sarlat-la-Canéda
Arrondissements: 4
Cantons: 50
Communes: 557
President of the General Council: Bernard Cazeau
PS
Statistics
Population Ranked 58th
 -2007 406,793
Population density: 45/km2
Land area¹: 9060 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Dordogne (Occitan: Dordonha) is a départment in south-west France. The départment is located in the region of Aquitaine, between the Loire valley and the High Pyrénées named after the great river Dordogne that runs through it. It roughly corresponds with the ancient county of Périgord.

Contents

History

The county of Périgord dates back to when the area was inhabited by the Gauls, it was home to four tribes, the name for "four tribes" in the Gaulish language was "Petrocore". The area eventually became known as the county of Le Périgord and its inhabitants became known as the Périgordins (or Périgourdins). There are four Périgords in the Dordogne: the "Périgord Vert" (Green Périgord) with its main town of Nontron, consists of verdant valleys in a region crossed by many rivers and streams; the "Périgord Blanc" (White Périgord) situated around the department's capital of Périgueux, is a region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys and meadows; the "Périgord Pourpre" (Purple Périgord) with its capital of Bergerac, is a wine region; and the "Périgord Noir" (Black Périgord) surrounding the administrative center of Sarlat, overlooks the valleys of the Vézère and the Dordogne, where the woods of oak and pine give it its name.

Dordogne River

The Petrocores took part in the resistance against Rome. Concentrated in two or three major sites are the vestiges of the Gallo-Roman period - the gigantic ruined tower and arenas in Périgueux (formerly Vesone), the Périgord museum's archaeological collections, villa remains in Montcaret and the Roman tower of La Rigale Castle in Villetoureix. The first cluzeaux, or artificial caves either above or below ground, are found throughout the Dordogne. These subterranean refuges and lookout huts could shelter entire populations. According to Julius Caesar the Gauls took refuge there.

Since the Guienne province had returned to the Crown under the Plantagenets following the re-marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, Périgord passed by right under English suze-rainty. Being situated at the boundaries of influence of the monarchies of France and England, it was to oscillate between the two dynasties for a long time. Over three hundred years of struggle until 1453 and the end of the Hundred Years' War were to tear apart and, as a consequence, model its physiognomy.

With the end of the Hundred Years' War, the Castillon plain on the banks of the Dordogne, during the calmer periods of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, saw a development in urban architecture. The finest Gothic and Renaissance residences were built in Périgueux, Bergerac and Sarlat. In the countryside, the nobility had the majority of our 1200 chateaux, manors and country houses erected. In the second half of the sixteenth century, however, they experienced attacks, pillaging and fires as the Wars of Religion reached a rare degree of violence in Périgord. At the time, Bergerac was one of the most powerful Huguenot strongholds, along with La Rochelle. Following these wars, Périgord, fief of Henry of Navarre. was to return to the Crown for good and suffer henceforth from the sudden political changes of the French nation, from the Revolution to the tragic hours of the Resistance. We also encounter the memory of its most illustrious literary figures: Bertran de Born, Michel de Montaigne, Etienne de La Boetie, Brantôme, Fenelon, Mahle de Biran, Eugene Le Roy and Andre Maurois; its great captains: Talleyrand, Saint-Exupery, Biron... and even Josephine Baker. A number of ruins (La Chapelle-Faucher, I'Herm...) have retained the memory of the tragedies which took place within their walls. Several of our castles and châteaux are open to visitors and some of them such as Bourdeilles and Mareuil, house remarkable collections.

In addition to its castles, chateaux, churches, bastides and cave fortresses, the Périgord region has preserved from centuries past, a number of wonderful villages which still have their market halls, dovecotes, tories (stone huts), churches, abbeys and castles. Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere, Connezac, Saint-Jean-de-Côle, La Roque-Gageac and many others are real jewels of architecture. As for the old quarters of Périgueux or Bergerac, restored and developed into pedestrian areas, they have regained their former charm. A number of small towns, such as Brantôme, Issigeac, Eymet and Mareuil, have withstood the often brash changes of modern times. A special mention should be made in this respect to Sarlat and its Black Périgord area.

Dordogne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the former province of Périgord, the county of Périgord.

Geography

The department is part of the region of Aquitaine and is surrounded by the six départements of Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Gironde, and Charente. Dordogne is the third largest department of France.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Bernard Cazeau of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Socialist Party 30
Union for a Popular Movement 9
French Communist Party 5
Miscellaneous Left 3
MoDem 1
Miscellaneous Right 1
Left Radical Party 1

Demographics

Dordogne has become one of the favourite destinations of British immigration to France, (more than 20 000 in 2006)

Tourism

There are more than 1,500 castles in Dordogne, including the following:

The famous caves of Lascaux have been closed to the public, but the duplicate model cave of Lascaux II is open to visitors and is a major tourist attraction. Périgueux has important Roman ruins, including an arena which is still visible inside a public park located near the town centre.

See also

Dordogne in Popular Culture

Michael Crichton's novel Timeline is placed in two time periods of Dordogne.

Douglas Boyd, the author husband of flautist Atarah Ben-Tovim, set parts of each of his six thrillers in Dordogne.

In the eighth episode of season 4 of Smallville, Dordogne is mentioned for its good wine.

External links

Coordinates: 45°00′N 00°40′E / 45°N 0.667°E / 45; 0.667

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

The Dordogne is a region of Aquitaine, France. Dordogne is one of France's best-kept secrets.

Castles, chateaux, and other important historical museums are sprinkled throughout the region, offering enough historical interest for any aficionado, but attractively distributed throughout a breath-taking scenery that needs no scholarly tendencies to enjoy it.

While long a favorite with visitors, the region has escaped much of the overdevelopment of some of France's other regions.

Get around

There isn't much in the way of public transport around the Périgord Noir area of which Sarlat is the main town. Railway : Trains from Paris to Souillac or Paris to Libourne and then change for Sarlat using the Bergerac line. Bus : There is no bus station in Sarlat but some services operate from the railway station. The Transperigord links Souillac to Sarlat via the Dordogne valley twice daily and the Sarlat Bus services various areas of Sarlat itself. Taxi : There are several taxi companies operating around Sarlat and the Dordogne valley. Taxi Faugére and taxi Cy

  • Visitors from around the world flock to see the prehistoric caves of Lascaux, thought by many scholars to be the world's best. However, due to the damage resulting from too many people visiting the caves, they have been permanently closed to the public. The French government has built Lascaux II near the site where tourists can see a copy of the original cave.
  • A wealth of story-book chateaux such as Losse in Périgord, Château de Beynac in Beynac-et-Cazenac, and the excellent museum of medieval warfare at the fortified Chateau de Castelnaud in Castelnaud-La Chapelle.
  • A lovely countryside, dotted by the golden stone houses native to this region, makes Dordogne seem a little like a cross between a fairy tale and a movie set.
  • The legendary stone villages of Dordogne, including Monpazier, Rocamadour, Domme and La Roque Gageac, are unforgettably picturesque. The market of Sarlat-le Caneda is just one of many remarkable markets in the area, but this is one that is truly a shopper's dream come true.
  • Canoeing down the River Dordogne is a fantastic way to see the region.

Ophorus also offers some unique small group escorted tours in the region. From the unique cave paintings of Lascaux to the breathtaking castles that are nested along the Dordogne River, your private bilingual driver guide will show you the best this region has to offer. Destinations include Sarlat, Beynac, Domme, Lascaux cave and much more..

Eat

A magnificent cuisine - famous especially for its pâtés - is often rated by native French as the country's best. Some local specialties:

  • Pommes Sarladaises -- potatoes roasted in duck fat, with garlic and parsley
  • Confit de canard -- slow-cooked duck leg
  • Foie gras -- liver from the fattened duck (canard) or goose (oie), prepared in any number of ways, including pâtés
  • Black truffle of Périgord -- best season for this is when it's fresh, late November through February
  • Tourain blanchi -- garlic soup with egg whites
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  • Shared-house.com, [1] - Holiday rentals, gites, B&B in Dordogne.
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the Dordogne and the surrounding area.
  • Les Cybeles (bed and breakfast in Dordogne), Le Bugue (La combe de Leygue, 24260 Le Bugue), [2]. Five rooms set in a stone house near Sarlat. WiFi access, swimming pool and regional cooking 60€/nt/rm. (44.915833,0.940278) edit
  • La Tour de Cause B&B, between Castelnaud & St. Cybranet (2.2 km south of Castelnaud at crossroads of D57/D50), [3]. American-run seasonal B&B 15 minutes from Sarlat, in a quiet hamlet but near castles, canoes, restaurants, markets. The five-room inn offers free broadband WiFi access, swimming pool, large rooms and luxe accommodations, and helpful hosts who speak English & French. 90€/nt/rm. (44.797307,1.159401) edit
  • Résidence Pierre & Vacances Belles Rives, +33 1 58 21 55 84, [4]. Lying on the left bank of the Dordogne overlooking the river, this Residence enjoys an exceptional location opposite the magnificent old village of Argentat.The 3 one-floor buildings with stone-coloured façades stand in the heart of a beautiful garden. All apartments have a view over the Dordogne. The architecture is broken up by tiered natural slate roofing, outside stairways, pergolas and wooden balustrades.   edit
  • Traditional Farmhouse Le Grand Batard (Traditional 'propriété anciennete'), Le Grand Batard (The Hamlet 1.5 km west of Eygurande et Gardedeuil), 012620677791, [5]. Three bedroom 'propriété anciennete'located in the tiny hamlet of Le grand batard. The house comfortably sleeps six and is ideal for those wishing to get away from it all, being situated in the forest of Double. The nearest village is Eygurande-et-Gardedeuil 3km away , the town of Montpon on the river Isle is a 7 km drive. The house has a large enclosed garden, BBQ terrace & sheltered patio dining area . from £200. (,week) edit
  • Auberge de La Salvetat (Hotel Restaurant La Salvetat), Route de Belvès 24480 Cadouin (Hamlet 2km from Cadouin), 0033 553634270, [6]. Hotel Dordogne Auberge de La Salvetat is a delightfully situated romantic 3* hotel and restaurant of charm and silence near Cadouin, Dordogne, in the heart of the Bessede forest. Ideally placed for exploring the Perigord Noir. Panoramic views, pretty bedroooms with cosy terraces and fine dining, gastronmic restaurant. Swimming pool, park and shady terrace email - contact@lasalvetat.com from 79€-110€.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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