The Info List - Dordogne

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(French pronunciation: ​[dɔʁdɔɲ]; Occitan: Dordonha) is a department in southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine
between the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
and the Pyrenees, and is named after the Dordogne
river that runs through it. It corresponds roughly with the ancient county of Périgord.


1 History 2 Geography 3 Politics 4 Demographics 5 Tourism 6 See also 7 In popular culture

7.1 Films 7.2 Literature

8 References 9 External links


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The county of Périgord
dates back to when the area was inhabited by the Gauls. It was originally 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. 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
Dordogne River
near Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

The Petrocores took part in the resistance against Rome. Concentrated in a few 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 earliest cluzeaux (artificial caves either above or below ground) can be found throughout the Dordogne. These subterranean refuges and lookout huts were large enough to shelter entire local populations. According to Julius Caesar, the Gauls
took refuge in these caves during the resistance. After Guienne
province was transferred to the English Crown under the Plantagenets following the remarriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine
in 1152, Périgord
passed by right to English suzerainty. Being situated at the boundaries of influence of the monarchies of France
and England, it oscillated between the two dynasties for more than three hundred years of struggle until the end of the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
in 1453. The county had been torn apart and, as a consequence, that modeled its physiognomy. During the calmer periods of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the Castillon plain on the banks of the Dordogne
saw a development in urban architecture. The finest Gothic and Renaissance residences were built in Périgueux, Bergerac, and Sarlat. In the countryside, the nobility erected the majority of the more than 1200 chateaux, manors and country houses. In the second half of the 16th century, however, the terrors of war again visited the area, as the attacks, pillaging, and fires of 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 would continue to suffer 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 the region's most important literary figures: Arnaut Daniel, Bertran de Born, Michel de Montaigne, Étienne de La Boétie, Brantôme, Fenelon, Maine de Biran, Eugene Le Roy, and André Maurois; its great captains: Talleyrand, Saint-Exupery, Biron; and even entertainer and activist Josephine Baker. A number of ruins (La Chapelle-Faucher, I'Herm) have retained the memory of the tragedies that took place within their walls. Several of the castles and châteaux are open to visitors; some of them, such as Bourdeilles and Mareuil, house noteworthy collections. In addition to its castles, chateaux, churches, bastides, and cave fortresses, the Périgord
region has preserved since centuries past a number of villages that still have their market halls, dovecotes, bories (stone huts)[2], churches, abbeys, and castles. Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, Connezac, Saint-Jean-de-Côle, La Roque-Gageac, and many others contain important and visually interesting architectural examples. The old quarters of Périgueux
or Bergerac have been restored and developed into pedestrian areas. A number of small towns, such as Brantôme, Issigeac, Eymet
and Mareuil, have withstood the 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 on 4 March 1790 during the French Revolution. It was created from the former province of Périgord, the county of Périgord. Its borders continued to change over subsequent decades.

In 1793 the communes of Boisseuilh, Coubjours, Génis, Payzac, Saint-Cyr-les-Champagnes, Saint-Mesmin, Salagnac, Savignac, Saint-Trié and Teillots
were transferred from Corrèze
to Dordogne. In 1794 Dordogne
ceded Cavarc
to Lot-et-Garonne. Later in 1794 (albeit during the subsequent year under the Republican Calendar in use at the time), Dordogne
gained Parcoul
from Charente-Inférieure. Following the restoration, in 1819, the commune of Bonrepos was suppressed and merged with the adjacent commune of Souillac in Lot.

In 1870, shortly after France
fought against Prussia
in a war that the enemy was winning, a young aristocrat called Alain de Monéys was savagely tortured and then burned by a crowd of between 300 and 800 people for two hours on 16 August in a public square in the village of Hautefaye
in the north-west of the department. Details of the incident remain unclear: the leading participants appear to have been drunk, and before the introduction of mass education most of the witnesses would have been unable (and possibly unwilling) to write down what they saw. But at some stage the victim died, and following a trial four individuals identified as culpable were in turn condemned to die by guillotine. The sentence was carried out in the same public square on 13 February 1885. It was suggested that the victim had reported the (bad) news of the war in a way that implied support for the enemy, although subsequently it became clear that his patriotic credentials were beyond reproach. It was also suggested that the mob had been antagonized when he called out, "Vive la République!" (Long live the republic) at a time when the patriotic villagers valued the imperial regime, which Parisian revolutionaries were in the process of destroying. The incident was widely reported at the time and has since been extensively researched. This summary relies on the work of Alain Corbin,[1] a modern historian specializing in the 19th century who analysed the incident and the mass psychology behind it. Geography[edit] The department is part of the region of Nouvelle-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 metropolitan France. Politics[edit] The President of the General Council is Germinal Peiro of the Socialist Party.

Party seats

• Socialist Party 34

Union for a Popular Movement 5

• French Communist Party 4

Miscellaneous right 5

• Union of Democrats and Independents 2

Demographics[edit] The population peaked at 505,789 in 1851 according to that year's census. After 150 years of steady decline it fell below 400,000 by the year 2000. This reflected the long term population decline observed in many of the rural departments resulting from changes in agriculture and the lure of higher industrial wages available in more urbanized regions. However, during the first decade of the 21st century, the decline has been reversed. Dordogne
has earned the nickname "Dordogneshire"[2] for its thriving British community. The region counts between 5,000 and 10,000 British residents and 800 British entrepreneurs, drawn by a laid-back lifestyle, warm climate, and lower cost of living. The village of Eymet
is at the heart of the trend, with 200 British families among 2,600 inhabitants.[3] Tourism[edit]


Château de Beynac


Canoeing on Dordogne

La Roque-Gageac

Cabanes du Breuil

There are more than 1,500 castles in Dordogne, making it "The Other Chateau Country"[4] including:

Beynac Biron Bourdeilles Castelnaud-la-Chapelle Commarque Hautefort Jaurias La Besse La Mothe La Petite Filolie La Renaudie La Roche La Roque Milandes Monbazillac Pécany Puymartin

The famous caves of Lascaux
have been closed to the public, but a replica 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[edit]

Arrondissements of the Dordogne
department Cantons of the Dordogne
department Communes of the Dordogne

In popular culture[edit] Films[edit]

was the setting for the film Ever After
Ever After
(1998), starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston. Ridley Scott's debut film The Duellists
The Duellists
(1977), starring Harvey Keitel and based on a Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
story, was filmed here, around Sarlat-la-Canéda. The film won Best Debut Film at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival.


Jean M. Auel's Shelters of Stone (2002) takes place in what is now Dordogne. Douglas Boyd, the author husband of flautist Atarah Ben-Tovim,[5] set parts of each of his six thrillers in Dordogne.[6] Meg Cabot's series Queen of Babble begins with part of the book set in the Dordogne
region. Glenn Cooper's The Tenth Chamber (2010) is set and based on prehistoric cave paintings in the Vézère
River Valley in the Dordogne. Michael Crichton's science-fiction novel Timeline (1999) is placed in two time periods of Dordogne. Martin Walker's first book in the Bruno Chief of Police series is titled Death in the Dordogne.


^ Corbin Alain, Le village des "cannibales", Paris, Aubier, 1990, 204 p. ^ "Dordogne-shire: How British expats could be destroying an idyllic French paradise". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-01-18.  ^ [1] ^ Woods, Katherine (1931). The Other Chateau Country; the Feudal Land of the Dordogne. John Lane The Bodley Head.  ^ Ben-Tovim, Atarah. "Autobiography".  ^ "Books by Douglas Boyd". Amazon.com. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dordogne.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Dordogne.

Tourist Highlights (in English) Préfecture website (in French) Conseil général website (in French) Atlaspol website. Politics of Dordogne
(in French) Dordogne
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) (in English)

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Departments of France

01 Ain 02 Aisne 03 Allier 04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 05 Hautes-Alpes 06 Alpes-Maritimes 07 Ardèche 08 Ardennes 09 Ariège 10 Aube 11 Aude 12 Aveyron 13 Bouches-du-Rhône 14 Calvados 15 Cantal 16 Charente 17 Charente-Maritime 18 Cher 19 Corrèze 2A Corse-du-Sud 2B Haute-Corse 21 Côte-d'Or 22 Côtes-d'Armor 23 Creuse 24 Dordogne 25 Doubs 26 Drôme 27 Eure 28 Eure-et-Loir 29 Finistère 30 Gard 31 Haute-Garonne 32 Gers 33 Gironde 34 Hérault 35 Ille-et-Vilaine 36 Indre 37 Indre-et-Loire 38 Isère 39 Jura 40 Landes 41 Loir-et-Cher 42 Loire 43 Haute-Loire 44 Loire-Atlantique 45 Loiret 46 Lot 47 Lot-et-Garonne 48 Lozère 49 Maine-et-Loire 50 Manche 51 Marne 52 Haute-Marne 53 Mayenne 54 Meurthe-et-Moselle 55 Meuse 56 Morbihan 57 Moselle 58 Nièvre 59 Nord 60 Oise 61 Orne 62 Pas-de-Calais 63 Puy-de-Dôme 64 Pyrénées-Atlantiques 65 Hautes-Pyrénées 66 Pyrénées-Orientales 67 Bas-Rhin 68 Haut-Rhin 69D Rhône 70 Haute-Saône 71 Saône-et-Loire 72 Sarthe 73 Savoie 74 Haute-Savoie 75 Paris 76 Seine-Maritime 77 Seine-et-Marne 78 Yvelines 79 Deux-Sèvres 80 Somme 81 Tarn 82 Tarn-et-Garonne 83 Var 84 Vaucluse 85 Vendée 86 Vienne 87 Haute-Vienne 88 Vosges 89 Yonne 90 Territoire de Belfort 91 Essonne 92 Hauts-de-Seine 93 Seine-Saint-Denis 94 Val-de-Marne 95 Val-d'Oise

Overseas departments 971 Guadeloupe 972 Martinique 973 French Guiana 974 Réunion 976 Mayotte

Metropolis with territorial collectivity statute 69M Lyon

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 130156026 LCCN: n50066569 GND: 4462295-8 BNF: