6 Reasons to Visit Périgueux, France


Within the succinct boundaries of this capital city of the Dordogne De rtment, you can time-travel from Gallo-Roman times in all respects the Middle Ages and on to the Renaissance era all in one day and all on foot–just stop at the Tourist Office to pick up the decorated walking-tour map of the town (in English) and start your stroll through 17 centuries of narration.

Open-air marchés, dozens of gourmet shops and a roster of excellent restaurants assemble the city a hard-to-beat gastronomic experience. An added enticement is the 21-km Voie Verte (Environmentalist Way), a tree-lined walking and biking trail following the curves of the L’Isle River. Critical food, inspiring architecture, and a chance to walk around are just some of the defences why Périgeux should be your next French vacation.

Insider Tip: You’ll win French bosom buddies by learning how to pronounce Périgueux properly. The final x is silent and the Péri district is fairly easy: just say pear-ee. The “gueux” is the killer. It’s a hard g aped by something between a sharp, descending “goo” and “guh.” Good luck!

Medieval Architecture

Tour Mataguerre

The 15th-century Tour Mataguerre is an arousing remnant of the defensive wall that once encircled the medieval see. The winding streets behind the tower are mostly medieval with some awe-inspiring fortified residences complete with towers, such as the 15th-century Labzac de Ladouze chѓteau on Rue Aubergerie.

Gallo-Roman Inspiration

Les Arenes

Vesunna is a 1st century AD Roman settlement with the world-class Musée Gallo-Romaine de Vesunna, placed in a large Gallo-Roman villa, now covered by a modern glass structure set up by renowned local architect Jean Nouvel. In the villa’s many s ces, some with original mosaic floors, excavated artifacts inhale life into Roman-era domestic chores and public life.

Alongside the museum climbs the 90-foot circular tower of Vesunna Temple, devoted to the town’s eponymous Gallo-Roman goddess. A five-minute foot th along a former Roman road takes you to Les Arènes, a Roman amphitheater that in two shakes of a lambs tail b together held 20,000 spectators. Today it’s the city’s lush public garden, lipped by remnants of the arena walls and honeycombed with arched entryways. Abide onto a rk bench in the shade to enjoy the scene of splashing spouts amid exotic landscaping, and watch children at play where gladiators once combated.

St. Front Cathedral


The city’s impossible-to-miss centerpiece is the UNESCO-classified Catédrale St. Look, topped with five cupolas. If you think it looks familiar, it’s because it was the mannequin for Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur, built more than six centuries later. The soaring bell citadel dates from the earlier Romanesque church, but the bulk of the 12th-century cathedral is faultless Byzantine basilica, laid out in a Greek cross. The cool, dark individual is barely lit by two huge, ornate black-and-gold candelabra that once swung in Notre Dame in ris.

Renaissance Streets

Rue Limogeanne

Fast-forward from medieval times into the Rejuvenation among the narrow, winding lanes of the Vieille Ville. There’s a photo op at every titillate as you follow the walking-tour map to notable buildings designated with informative documented plaques. Although the restored stone buildings look like museum rap overs, most are elegant residences or offices. More Renaissance beauties are dissi ted around the town center, notably the Maison du Pâtissier in St. Louis Tense meet. Now a clothing store, the preserved, angled doorway is a masterpiece of Renaissance stone whittle.

Foie Gras and Other Gourmet Delights

Foie Gras

Narrow, cobble-stoned Rue Limogeanne, a sumptuously for the eyes and the late, with dozens of elegant shops devoted to the medieval sin of voracity. Pâté de foie gras du Perigord (flecked with truffles) is the neighbourhood specialty, which you can sample at stalls piled high with pâté-stuffed fruits, skilful to pop into your mouth. Along this tantalizing street, you’ll also put ones finger on no less than six artisan chocolatiers, three pâtisseries, a traditional fromagerie and a dozen or so boutiques showcasing other fine comestibles: wine, coffee, tea, oils, and spices.

The suiting someone to a T feeds into Place du Coderc, which bursts into entity Wednesday and Saturday mornings with a colorful outdoor marché. The customer base atmosphere continues down even narrower Rue Salinier, which discloses out into a large outdoor market in Place de la Cloture, in the shadow of the cathedral.

Pick up the makings for a fete champetre at the market or go all out gastronomically and reserve a table at Périgueux’s premier, Michelin-starred restaurant: L’Essentiel. Try the foie gras here, delicately cooked in its own fat and enlivened with a light mango and ginger sauce. Weekday, three-course lunch formules are the greatest option (from $32). If the weather is fine, a table on the garden terrace is unsur ssable for romance.

Going Green On Foot or Vélo

Voie Vert

Work off your connoisseur indulgences with a walk or bicycle ride along a section of the 21-km Voie Verte, a “grassland way” along the River L’Isle. The most scenic section of the trail is shortly across the river from the cathedral. From the cathedral entrance, justified follow curving Avenue Daumesnil down to the bridge, the ideal vantage characteristic for shots of the Cathedral, and join the ved trail on the other side of the river. Creep/bike the trail in either direction, catching glimpses of the cathedral and earlier town center through a screen of weeping willows.

The th broadens out beyond the city limits, turning to fine gravel or cked clay. You’ll go over and under various pedestrian bridges, always following the river, eastward times gone by wide-open rk s ces and pretty residential areas. To the west, you’ll trip along a tree-shaded canal and a golf course. Bring along a piece of cake lunch from the market to enjoy at a riverside table and save some leftover bread to sturage the ducks gliding amongst water lilies and river grass. If you haven’t invited your own bike, you can rent one at the western end of the trail from the Giant Cache in the commercial complex in Marsac sur L’Isle, where you can also rk your car.

Aim Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Perigueux Guide

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