Domme

Honey stoned Domme is a typical ‘bastide’ town, well almost, it is a town that has been transplanted onto a bluff-top eyrie. Philippe III the Bold built it in 1281, however he had to use threats to get the local people to live in the town, it is very high up. Today you drive up the long winding road to the top. This is one of our favourite places for outstanding views, an excellent market on a Thursday, and lots and lots of tourist shops and cafes. There is an excellent shop selling local wines including La Vieille Noix (liqueur) this is gorgeous and you can sample a small drink in the shop.

Domme

Domme

This jewellery shop is just a few steps from the car park

Once you climb up the hill past all of the shops you reach L’Esplanade offering a terrific panoramic view of the Dordogne valley.

l'esplanade

l’esplanade

The picture below shows just part of the view, it has the wow factor

A view from l'esplanade

A view from l’esplanade

The town walls have three of the original gates. To the west there is the best preserved gate, the 13th –century Porte des Tours, its narrow entrance is flaked by two large guard towers built by Philip the Fair. These were converted into prisons in 1307 when the King ordered the arrest of the knights Templar; a few of the Templar lingered in the prison until1318, engraving the crucifixes and other graffiti onto the stone walls.

La Prison des Templiers

La Prison des Templiers

This is our last ‘blog’ for a while, we are going to France, so we shall ‘blog’ again on our return. Thanks again for reading and looking at our favourite places, and for the excellent comments.

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Monpazier

Monpazier, “the most perfect bastide”, (which is a fortified town), designed in a neat rectangular grid around an arcaded square with a market and church is one of “Plus beaux villages de France” with 32 listed buildings. It was founded late as bastides go, in 1284, by Edward 1 of England. It prospered long enough to have a perfectly rotten 14th Century, when the town was a football which was kicked around during the Hundred Years War, then came bad harvests, typhoid fever, and finally the Black Death. However, life in Monpazier continued.

It was during the next round of warfare, over religion, that the Duke of Sully recorded a story about Monpazier which is worthy of a Monty Python sketch: by sheer coincidence Monpazier decided to raid Villefranche-du-Perigord, the next bastide to the east, on the same night that Villefranche decided to do the same to Monpazier. By chance each took a different road; each was delighted to find their goal undefended and easy plunder, and carried its booty back-to ransacked homes. An agreement was struck, and both sides gave back everything that they had stolen and peace was restored.

Note that the regulation cornieres, or arcades around the square are irregular.

A town with history

A town with history

Every time we go to France we plan our next visit to Monpazier, it is always worth a visit, especially on a Thursday, market day.

Market square

Market square

You can see the gorgeous vaulted ceilings as you walk around the square.

On the right is my favourite clothes shop.

On the right is my favourite clothes shop. (“one” of [added by Paul])

We had to stop and buy a selection of olives, the smell was gorgeous, herbs, garlic, cheeses etc

Olives

Olives

Just look at the variety and size of the locally grown tomatoes, they tasted good too.

tomatoes

Tomatoes

This was taken just off the market square.

Underneath the arches

Underneath the arches

Buskers outside the church

Busking in the sun

Busking in the sun

You are being watched! We have been to Monpazier several times and have only recently noticed these wonderfully artistic carvings

live wood carving

live wood carving