The Dordogne: culture
Some of the most important prehistoric sites in the world are to be found in Dordogne : Les Eyzies, Lascaux, Font-de-Gaume, Le Moustier, La Ferrassie to mention only a few of the 200 sites listed. The abundance of works of art, shelters and heritage along the Vézère valley are classified by UNESCO as part of the world’s heritage.
The Dordogne boasts the greatest number of chateaux and castles, close to a thousand, of all the French departments dating from Medieval and Renaissance times : for example the fortresses of Castelnaud, Beynac and Biron,the châteaux of Bannes and Losse or the ruins of Commarque are splendid places to visit.
Towns and villages
Towns and villages: In the Perigord medieval towns and villages are to be found in abundance and you will see for yourself that just about every place you come through has a charm of its own. Exquisite examples though are the towns of Sarlat, Bergerac and Perigueux as well as the bastide towns of Monpazier, Domme, Villefranche and Beaumont. The villages of La Roque Gageac and Limeuil feature on the list of the most beautiful villages in France. Quite a few famous personalities in the literary field had their home in the Dordogne: the manor and birthplace of the 16th century writer La Boétie are to be found in Sarlat and the great philosopher Montaigne as well as the musketeer La Calprenède were from this region.
Churches and abbeys
In the hills behind the main valley of the Dordogne you will find the Cistercian abbey and cloister of Cadouin situated on the road to Saint James of Compostelle. The 10th century church of Paunat as well as the recently restored church of Saint Avit Seigneur are also of particular interest.
Each year more private gardens open their doors to the public : Marqueyssac, le Manoir d’Eyrignac, le Château d’Hautefort and Sardy will please the horticultural visitor
Music and théâtre
Over the summer period you can enjoy a number of music and theatre festivals in the region.