Visit Bergerac – Dordogne secret | EUROtoday

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Statue of Cyrano de Bergerac in the town center

Even in the event you can't pinpoint it on a map, the city of Bergerac will virtually definitely sound acquainted. Standing amongst the vineyards of south-west France, this bustling neighborhood of round 27,000 folks is the second largest city within the division of Dordogne after Perigueux. But Bergerac's largest declare to fame is thru a person with solely a distant connection to the city.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Parisian by start, 17th century novelist and playwright Hercule Savinien de Cyrano grew up on a household property outdoors Paris, given to its unique proprietor by King Charles VI for his contribution in capturing Bergerac from the English. So, when younger Hercule joined the Gascon Musketeers, he bracketed 'de Bergerac' to his household title as one thing of a private assertion. After a quick army profession, Cyrano de Bergerac led a brief however colourful life as a part of the libertine motion of literature, dying in an accident in Paris in 1655 aged simply 36.

And there the story may need ended, had it not been for a play written practically 250 years later. In 1897, Edmond Rostand created a piece of fiction loosely based mostly on Cyrano, however portraying him as a gifted Gascon poet with a really massive nostril, who secretly loves his cousin Roxane however believes he’s unattractive to ladies. The story of how Cyrano woos her along with his poetry on behalf of a good friend has been acted out on stage, tv and cinema screens ever since. And in the present day you may admire his facial physique in two statues that grace the Art & History city that shares his title.

The better of Bergerac and round

Bergerac town center

Bergerac's historic quarter is a nice place to whereas away a couple of hours with its historic streets and bustling market. Or possibly take a ship journey in a conventional Dordogne barge or gabarre. First-time guests are additionally stunned to seek out France's solely Tobacco Museum, a discovery middle for a plant as soon as extensively grown within the space.

But the encompassing space is filled with curiosity too, from heritage cities to lush countryside, riverside walks to a few of France's Most Beautiful Villages. And you probably have even a passing curiosity in wine, you may take in the winery environment first hand with a keep at Chateau Masburel, west of Bergerac close to the village of Fougueyrolles.

Bergerac lies within the space referred to as Purple Périgord, a land of vineyards that morphs into the Bordeaux area. Successive house owners at Chateau Masburel have produced wine right here since 1740 when each chateau and winery have been planted by a Consul to King Louis XV. Over the centuries, the winery grew to become established throughout the Montravel appellation, whose chief operate is to supply the highest Bergerac wines grand crus. Exclusively producing each candy and dry white wines till 200l, Montravel additionally now consists of wonderful purple vintages.

Bergreac vineyards

Today the vines at Chateau Masburel are within the succesful fingers of Chris Walker and Irma Lazickiene who additionally welcome company to their 4 themed bedrooms, every with en-suite and winery views, in addition to to the Tapestry Gîte, separate from the primary chateau with two luxurious bedrooms. Stay on website and you may tour the 19 hectares of vineyards, style the vintages and purchase from the winery store at your leisure.

Whether you’re keen on wine, historical past, or simply the irresistible pull of historic stones, Chateau Masburel makes a terrific base for a vacation within the Dordogne and surrounding space. Take a 40-minute drive west to Saint-Emilion, one other iconic title recognized throughout the wine-drinking world. This enchanting city tumbles down a steep hillside in a maze of historic streets. Don't miss the monolithic church hewn out of the rock within the 12th century, the Romanesque retains, or the Cordeliers cloister. And don't go away with out tasting the city's signature macaroons made with floor almonds. Oh, and the well-known purple wine after all!

Pretty villages close to Bergerac

Monpazier near Bergerac

If you may't resist a historic village, there are three inside 90 minutes of Masburel which can be categorised amongst Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Closest is Monpazier, simply over an hour to the south. Founded in 1284 by King Edward I of England, this medieval fortified city nonetheless retains its arcaded central sq. and unique grid avenue sample.

Nearby Belvès dominates the verdant valley of the Nauze river and provides panoramic views over the Périgord Noir area. Besieged seven occasions by English troopers through the Hundred Years War and by Protestant forces within the Wars of faith, Belvès nonetheless boasts troglodyte cave dwellings and advantageous buildings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Also listed amongst Les Plus Beaux Villages is Limeuil on the junction of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers, as soon as a buying and selling middle that bustled with the comings and goings of barges and boatmen. Walk as much as the panoramic themed gardens of the citadel park and don't miss the frescoes at Chapelle Saint-Martin, one of the vital stunning Romanesque chapels within the Périgord.


Chief city of the Dordogne division and capital of the White Périgord, Périgueux is round an hour's drive north of the Masburel domaine and a particular must-do. Dominating the city is the UNESCO-listed cathedral of St Front, embellished with domes and minarets, and restored within the 19th century by Paul Abadie who later used it as a mannequin for the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Today Saint-Front continues to be an necessary stopping level on the pilgrims' path to Santiago de Compostela.

The city retains many timber-framed homes and fortified properties from the Middle Ages and the historic middle features a cobbled artisan district that’s house to bookbinders, blacksmiths and plenty of different conventional trades. But guests can step again even additional in time at Vesunna, the stays of a big Gallo-Roman villa proper within the coronary heart of city, that at the moment are protected by a glass constructing designed by architect Jean-Nouvel.

And if Périgueux whets your urge for food for an city repair, head off within the different path to Bordeaux, a journey of lower than 90 minutes whether or not you drive or take the practice. Highlights embody an unlimited water mirror reflecting elegant facades and altering skies; Cité du Vin, an interactive middle showcasing wines from the world over; and a wealth of eating places, boutiques and museums.

But the lure of the vineyards and valleys, the water and woodland of Dordogne will finally pull you again out to the countryside. And what higher solution to finish a day of discovery than with a glass of Bergerac wine and a view of the vineyards? Health!

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By Gillian Thornton, one of many UK's main journey writers and a daily author for The Good Life France Magazine and web site.

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Visit Bergerac – secret Dordogne