Le Domme Express + Hidden Gems

These two “express” trains offer tourists a guided tour around Domme. The tour lasts about twenty minutes with visits to Porte des Tours (templar prison) and Panorama Maison du Gouverneur or the entrance to the caves of Porte Delbos, and of course the ramparts at Porte de la Combe.
Domme ExpressThe trains stop in the large car park below the Porte des Tours. It’s well worth hopping on there to save the steep climb up to the town.

Domme Express

Hidden Gems

Flying Plant PotThis is one of the hidden gems, it was only after several visits to Domme that I spotted it and just had to take a picture. If you look closely it seems that the large plant pot is precariously balancing right on the edge of the metal sign above the café next to the car park in Domme centre.

Ancient PlanterIf you have the time take a walk off the main street to wander the charming side roads you will find this gem of a planter. The knight’s templar fighting in the holly war.

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Martin Walker

Famous author in the Perigord

A British author has been credited with boosting foreign tourism in Dordogne by 30%. Martin Walker has written several mystery novels about a local policeman called Bruno who works in the Perigord, which has seen tourists flock to the area in the hope of finding the real life inspiration behind the character. Walker has since become an Ambassaeur d’Honneur for Perigord and a Chevalier of foie gras.

Martin WalkerPicture courtesy SHOTSMAG Ezine

I have to say that I have read all of his books except for his latest novel, the Dying Season and I have enjoyed them immensely. Events take place in a fictional village in the Perigord but incorporate all of the familiar places such as the Lascaux caves, vineyards near Bergerac and the medieval towns, markets and people of the area. Plus a few delicious recipes in most of the books making Martin Walkers character Bruno come to life.

My favourite book is The Crowded Grave, which focuses on a local archaeological team digging for evidence of prehistoric man, when they unearth a well-preserved skeleton which should not be there.

The Crowded Grave

Château de Hautefort – 2

This is the second part of a two part blog on Château de Hautefort, the first part can be found here

The Gardens

The tower on the left was where the famous author Gabriel Victor Eugene Le Roy was born in 1836, he is famous for writing “Jacquou Le Croquant” in 1899, which describes the poverty that Perigord peasants lived in so that the wealthy could afford life’s little luxury’s. A ‘croquant’ is a South West word for a 17th century peasant rebel; the name relates to the grinding of angry teeth.

rear of the Chateau The rear of the Château with its magnificent gardens and the oncoming storm on the top left of the picture.

The Minister of Culture and Communication awarded the gardens the title of “Remarkable Gardens” in 2004. This is a French style garden which was influenced by many trips to Italy. There is also an English park at the front of the Château which was designed by Choulot in the 19th century.

the gardens View of the gardens taken from one of the Château’s bedroom windows

Perfumed flowersPerfumed flowers in the borders

Beautiful curling hedgesBeautiful curling hedges

The Château de Hautefort, gardens and park are open from April to September 10 until 12 and 2 until 6 and from November to February, Sunday only 2 until 5.

Château de Hautefort


Château de Hautefort – 1

Since the Château de Hautefort is such a wonderful place to visit, the blog has been split into two to fit even more gorgeousness in!

Château

A couple of hours drive North of Daglan is the Château de Hautefort, you pass through Sarlat and Montignac and drive up towards the Lascaux caves to the area known as White Perigord. It gets it’s name from its bleached limestone plateaux, which are always worth a visit or two.

In the 12th century a fortress was built on this spot by Baron de Born, a war-loving troubadour.

DrawbridgeThe drawbridge which was built in 1588

In 1640 it was rebuilt by a famous miser, Jacques-Francois de Hautefort, when he fell ill his doctor prescribed English pills, which brought about his death – they cost so much that he could not bear to swallow them.

Dinning RoomDinning Room

In 1929 the Château passed to the Baron and Baroness de Bastard who undertook the complete restoration of Hautefort and its gardens. After the Baron died, his wife continued and finally finished in 1968. In the autumn of the same year Hautefort went up in flames that could be seen across the Perigord. After the shock of losing thirty eight years of work over night, the Baroness amazed everyone by starting all over again.

Ladies BedroomLadies Bedroom, just a little OTT

Master BedroomMaster Bedroom

chaise longueWow, I so want the above for my bedroom, it would be great to relax upon after a hard days renovation work.

Restoration work is still being carried out today, when we arrived there was scaffolding on half of the exterior of the Château, also the chapel and the courtyard were being restored. It was fascinating seeing the masons at work on large stone pieces, it’s well worth a visit just for that alone.

Château de Hautefort