On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best things to see and best things to do in Périgueux.
We needed to leave Bergerac early to arrive with plenty of time to explore everything in Périgueux. So, we didn’t waste much time; I went straight to the boulangerie and bought our coffee and croissants for breakfast in the flat.
We had our breakfast, finished the packing, and left to Périgueux. It took us about an hour to get there, arriving at about ten am.
After going around in circles for a while we found a car park in the centre of town.
As usual, we headed to the Tourist Office to get a map, and checked on what to visit while we stopped for a coffee and a toilet break in a restaurant on “Place du Coderc”, a square near the Tourist Office
At the core of Périgueux is a lovely old town, referred to as the Medieval Town, but there is also the Roman Town. We only had time to visit the Medieval Town, but I’ve heard that there is a lot of interesting things to see in the Roman Town as well. Important sites such as The Vesunna Temple, The Gallo Vesunna Museum, the remains of the Barriere Castle, and other places. However, we had to choose what to see because after visiting Périgueux, we would still need to travel for another one and a half hours north, to Limoges for the night.
“Place de L”Ancien”
We chose to visit the Medieval Town and followed the route on the tourist’s map. We started at the Hotel de Ville at “Place de L’Ancien”, located in a fortified 15th and 17th century building. We followed on to see the House of the Ladies of Faith on “Rue des Farges”, which was transformed into a convent, and the architecture is from the 12th century.
Hotel de Ville
We reached the “Tour Mataguerre”, the only tower remaining from the medieval wall that existed in Périgueux. We proceeded via “Rue Aubergerie”, where two mansions from the 15th century mark their presence showing how rich the merchants of the time were. From there we continued to “Rue du Calvarie”, where the house of the “Vigier” is. This house extends from one corner to the other and was built in the 13th century. We followed on to “Place de la Clautre”, a former execution square, now home to the weekly farmer’s market. We arrived back at “Place du Coderc”, one of the oldest in Périgueux. We followed through the route via “Rue de La Sagesse” and arrived at “Place Saint-Louis”, where on the corner is the house of the pastry cook, one of the makers of the famous “Pâté de Périgueux”.
“House of the Pastry Cook”
We went down “Rue Limogeanne” and we saw a restaurant on the corner of “Rue de la Clarté” and “Rue Saliniere” called “Le Relais Périgourdin”; looking at their menu, I noticed they had “Cassoulet au Périgueux”. Cassoulet is one of my favourite French dishes and I still hadn’t managed to have one on this trip. As it was lunch time, we decided to sit in one of their tables outside and have lunch there.
My husband ordered a salad, and I ordered the cassoulet with some local beers to go with. When the dishes arrived, I could see straight away that the cassoulet was not prepared on site, but taken from a tin, with a piece of duck placed on top. This was supposed to be “Cassoulet Périgourdin”? What a disappointment! My husband’s salad was not too bad, but it was not great either.
After lunch, we continued our tour route and crossed to “Avenue Daumesnil” via the “Galerie Daumesnil”, with buildings from different eras, but still attractive. We went down the avenue passing in front of the Cathedral, but we did not get in yet. We went in the direction of the river and turned left, alongside “Boulevard Georges Saumande”. Facing the river there are some very old houses that back to “Rue Porte de Graule”. These houses date from the 15th to the 17th century — very beautiful architecture. We turned left on “Rue de Depêche” and then right to “Rue du Plantier”, with its cobblestones paving and full of restored mansions; this street finishes on “Cours Torny”. We turned left, and we soon were in front of the “Musee D’Art et D’Archeologie du Périgord”. We did not go inside the museum, as we did not have enough time, but it keeps medieval, and renaissance remains of Périgueux, and is a very nice place to visit if you are interested in history and have the time to explore the museum. We turned on the next left, “Rue Saint-Front”, and walked all the way to the end of the road, that ends in front of the “Cathedrale Saint-Front”. This is a Byzantine-inspired building in the form of a Greek cross. In the 19th century it was in ruins, but it was saved by Paul Abadie, the same architect that built the Sacré Coeur in Paris.
“Bridge over the River L’Isle”
After looking at the Cathedral inside and out we finished our tour of Périgoux. We had a lovely time strolling around the medieval streets of Périgueux and it was worth stopping there on our route north. We walked back to the car and started our journey to Limoges.
We booked a hotel on the outskirts of Limoges in a pleasant golf course. We just needed to spend the night and to be closer of “Oradour-sur-Glane”, the visit we were planning for next day.
We arrived at the hotel “Golf St Lazare” at about five pm. We checked in a very comfortable and clean bedroom. The hotel had a restaurant and we booked dinner there for tonight.
The restaurant was in an orangery type of room all glazed around with some parts open. It faced the golf course and had lovely views. We had some rest at the room before going for dinner. The food was very good, and we enjoyed it very much. After dinner we retired early as we were quite tired of all our walking during the day and needed to be ready for next destination.
Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in Périgueux. I classified each place as follows:
BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended
NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews
*** – Excellent
** – Good
* – OK
£££ – Expensive
££ – Fair and affordable
£ – Cheap
WHAT TO VISIT IN PÉRIGUEUX
1 – The Old Town – ***
2 – Roman Town
3 – Hotel de Ville – Place de L’Ancien – ***
4 – House of the Ladies of Faith – ***
5 – Tour Mataguerre – ***
6 – Rue Aubergerie – ***
7 – Rue du Calvarie – ***
8 – House of the Vigier – ***
9 – Place de la Clautre – ***
10 – Place du Coderc – ***
11 – House of the Pastry Cook – ***
12 – Galerie Daumesnil and Avenue Daumesnil – ***
13 – Boulevard Geoges Saumande – ***
14 – Musee D’Art et D”Archeologie du Périgord
15 – Cathedrale Saint-Front – ***
WHERE TO STAY IN PÉRIGUEUX
1 – Loft Me – Entre Art Deco et Loft a L’Americaine – 3** – ££
2 – Château des Reynats – 4* – ££
3 – La Villa Marguerite – 3* – ££
4 – L’Otentik – Centre Historique – 3* – ££
WHERE TO EAT IN PERIGUEUX
2 – Le Clos Saint Front – £££
3 – L’Epicurien – ££
4 – Hercule Poireau – ££
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