La Dordogne - Périgord
In the southwest of France in the Aquitaine region is situated the Dordogne, department number 24. It has a very temperate climate , the sun shines nearly 2000 hours per year. A wonderful place to stay for a holiday at nearly 550 km from Paris, with lots of history, places of interest, nature (more than 40% covert with forest) and gastronomy. It is the area of the Prehistory and the 1000 castles. Besides it is a clean region with few industry and few pollution of the air and light. You can see lots of beautiful starry skies.
The Dordogne takes its name from the River Dordogne, the famous border between France and England during the Hundred Years War. The other name for this river is "L'Esperance" = Hope. The river originates in the Massif Central, coming from two small rivers, the Dorde and Dogne, and flows about 490 km through the departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Corrèze, Dordogne and Gironde to come into the River Garonne and then culminate in the Atlantic Ocean. Also Périgord, the old province name (befor 1790), is still used. This name comes from the Gallic tribe Petrocorii, which around 500 years before Christ was established here. At the beginning of the last century the Dordogne was very important for the transport of goods by boat (Gabare). Large sections were not navigable , slopes to wild and rocky. Here the goods were transferred by horse and wagon. Precisely these places are favorite tourists sites. Areal adventure to sail the Dordogne by canoe or kayak.
After Paris the Dordogne department has the most historic sites. It has traces of almost every historical period:
- Prehistory: In the valley of the River Vézère in the Périgord-Noir, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Caves of Lascaux II ("the Sixtine Chapel of prehistory"), the caves of Font de Gaume, Combarelles and Maxange , the Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies;
- Gallo-Roman Antiquity : museum Vesuna in Périgueux with parts of an ancient roman villa;
- Christianity and Medieval Age: castles such as Beynac and Castelnaud , the famous Bastide towns like Monpazier, Domme and many churches and abbeys like Cadouin (each year there are medieval festivities);
- Renaissance: places like Sarlat and Perigueux, castles such as Monbazillac, Biron and Lanquais;
- the XVIIth century: castle Hautefort , the gardens of Eyrignac....
The Perigord is divided into four areas:
-The Perigord Vert in the North with its green vegetation due to the slightly wetter climate. The center is Nontron.
-The Perigord Blanc, the central part of the region located along the valley of the River Isle. The white and grayish limestone cliffs gave this name. The capital of department 24, Périgueux, lies in this area.
-The Perigord Pourpre in the southwest with its vineyards of the Bergeracois and the Bastide villages. Bergerac is its center.
-The Périgord Noir, the vast forest area with many dark oak, cut into two parts by the rivers the Dordogne and the Vézère. Here are the most prehistoric finds. Sarlat is the center of this part.
The Dordogne has kept many traditions for exemple:
-The "Felibrée”, a traditional occitan festival celebrated each year in another village of the Dordogne,
-The gastronomy périgourdine with his omelet with cèpes, his foie gras with truffles, his duck, his garlic soup (tourain) , nuts and many Bergerac wines, dry white or sweet (Monbazillac), red (Pécharmant) or rosé.
- The medieval festive days in August.
And lots of festivals, markets and vide-greniers (flea markets), brocantes ( antique and curiosity markets), marchés-nocturnes (evening markets where you can eat).
There are lots of things to do for sportsmen: canoe, cycle, take a walk, horse riding, rock climbing, fishing, balloon flight and of course playing tennis and swimming.
The domain of La Filolie lies partly in the Perigord Pourpre and partly in the Perigord Noir, between the cities of Bergerac and Sarlat. From La Filolie it is about 2,5 km to the village of Le Buisson and 3 km to the river Dordogne.