Our Picks in the Perig­ord Noir

This cor­ner of The Dor­dogne pro­vides an em­bar­rass­ment of riches for tourists. Home to many trea­sures of me­dieval his­tory and pre-his­tory, it’s also a ge­ologer’s par­adise

Bordeaux J'Adore - - ◆ —— Near Lascaux —— ◆ - CLARE O’HA­GAN

◆ Château Castel­naud

This 13th Cen­tury cas­tle built on a high out­crop of rock faces its old ri­val, the Château de Beynac across a deep val­ley. Dur­ing the 100 Years War it backed the English Plan­ta­genets against the French Kings. Now re­stored, it houses a mu­seum of me­dieval war­fare, with full-scale cat­a­pults and tre­buchets for the kids to clam­ber on.

24250 Castel­naud-la-chapelle

◆ La Roque Saint-christophe

Hu­mans have built their homes in­side this kilo­me­tre-long cliff for mil­len­nia. The por­ous rock, many nat­u­ral caves and its prox­im­ity to the river made it the per­fect place for a set­tle­ment. It is now a mu­seum show-cas­ing how pre-his­toric, then me­dieval man lived, worked, fought and even wor­shipped here in build­ings carved into the rock. 24620 Peyzac-le-moustier

◆ Grotte de Proumeyssac

For cen­turies, lo­cals were ter­ri­fied of this pit, which they called the ‘Devil’s Hole’ be­cause it reg­u­larly emit­ted steam. In 1907 the first per­son to de­scend into the chasm dis­cov­ered the mag­nif­i­cent dis­play of sta­lac­tites and sta­lag­mites, which are now spec­tac­u­larly il­lu­mi­nated for vis­i­tors.

24260 Au­drix

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