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The city of Périgueux seems always to be in bloom. Flowers are grown here in the municipal greenhouses to provide colour whatever the season and all year round its streets offer a welcoming blast of nature.
It is one of only nine places to be awarded four flowers in the France in Bloom – the council works hard here to maintain a litter-free, leafy appearance.
All around the city there are luscious green spaces, including Jardin des Arènes, Parc Gamenson, Parc de Vésone, Jardin du Thouin, Jardin des Remparts, Jardin des Vagabondes, Jardin de la Source and Grand Prairie Puy Bernard. The François-Mitterrand park along the boulevard Georges-Saumande is the only site in the department to be awarded the title of Eco-garden in 2016.
Superlative architecture is all around here, with historic buildings and ancient remains rubbing shoulders with all the modern facilities you could wish for.
There is a daily market with fresh fruit and vegetables in the 19th century covered market on Place du Coderec. This bustles with life, as the city’s residents (population nearly 30,000) go about their daily lives.
Perigueux boasts a stunning Byzantine cathedral, with a cluster of domes which can be seen from all around the city. It has a Greek cross ground plan like St Mark’s cathedral in Venice and the Sacré Coeur church at Montmartre in Paris. The cathedral has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Roman villa is at the centre of the city’s museum, preserved for people to almost walk around – you can see where the Romans installed underfloor heating.
There are also the remains of an amphitheatre here, transformed into gardens with a fountain.
The Dordogne general council sit here, as does the Assize Court of the Dordogne. The city has a district court, a high court, a commercial court, an industrial tribunal and a juvenile court.
Périgueux is the main employment area in the Dordogne and is home to the head offices of several regional companies. One of the main employers is the workshops of the railway company SNCF.
Apart from the day to day activities of its residents Périgueux is also a tourist magnet, with various festivals and cultural events hosted here. Foodies make a beeline for Périgueux too – it is renowned for its gastronomy.
Périgueux is crossed by the Isle, the main tributary of the Dordogne. The river is nearly 160 miles long and much of it is navigable.
You might want to buy that boat, as Périgueux suffers from fairly heavy traffic – the result of its having six bridges around the city – just one per mile of river.
Or take a train – Périgueux Train Station is part of SNCF and here you can board a train for Bordeaux, Limoges, Brive and Agen ; by main line trains to Paris, Lyon and, by Ventadour, to Clermont-Ferrand.
There was originally a settlement here around 200 BC. People settled on the heights on the left bank of the Isle and created a fortified camp at La Boissière.
In 52 BC this encampment provided Vercingetorix with about 5,000 warriors, to help him face the Roman legions of Julius Caesar.
A few years later La Boissière camp was abandoned and the Gallo-Roman Vesunna, (the future Périgueux), was created between 25 and 16 BC. The Roman city grew prosperous and temples, baths, an amphitheatre and a forum were built.
Even as long ago as this, Vesunna is said to have had between 15,000 and 20,000 residents. It became capital of the city of Pétrocores at the end of the third century.
In the fifth century, the Normans looted the city repeatedly. Then towards the end of the tenth century a new centre started to appear around a monastery. Walls were built around this new centre to protect the city.
Around 1150, Boson III, known as de Grignols, had a large and strong tower built to monitor the city he had just captured. But this angered King Henry II of England, who had by then become Duke of Aquitaine by marriage. The tower was destroyed in 1182. Henry’s son Richard destroyed all the fortifications built by him and his predecessor.
The city became Périgueux in 1240, uniting the two towns a few hundred metres from each other –the Gallo-Roman Vésone and the count of Périgord and the bourgeois city of Puy-Saint-Front.
In the 13th century, new bourgeois settled in Périgueux and bought plots of land to build on.
Cloth merchants also came to settle in Périgueux, acquiring much land in the city.
The wars of religion were more deadly for Périgueux than the Hundred Years War. Périgueux was taken on August 6, 1575 by Calvinists, who plundered and occupied the city. That same year, the remains of the holy bishop were stolen, taken to the Castle Tiregand and thrown into the Dordogne.
Périgueux remained in Protestant hands until 1581.
In 1857, Périgueux saw the arrival of the railway and from 1862, repair shops for the locomotives and cars.
In 1939, following the advance of German forces in Alsace and Lorraine, many thousands of people were evacuated here. Périgueux welcomed thousands of Strasbourg residents – you can see Strasbourg town hall at 2 rue Voltaire, at the Chamber of Commerce. Administrative services returned to Strasbourg in July 1940 but the mayor Charles Frey stayed in Périgueux until November 1944.
The Resistance grew in the city with movements and networks created to distribute false papers and underground newspapers.
On November 11, 1942, German troops invaded and settled in Daumesnil, forcing the 26th Infantry Regiment to dissolve six days later. The Gestapo moved to the current Place du Général de Gaulle.
The Resistance activities intensified in 1943, causing a bomb attack on the Gestapo headquarters on October 9. Rreprisals were immediately triggered, leading to the arrest of 17 resistance fighters. On November 9 a fresh attack on the Germans at the main office of the gendarmerie, caused extensive damage and injuries.
On May 10, 1944, the militia and the Vichy police arrested and gathered 211 people in the Palace room, then transferred them to the sites of the Atlantic Wall to perform forced labour. On D-Day, when the Allies landed in Normandy, the Perigord resistance fighters attacked. The Germans counter-attacked – killing more than 500 civilians. In August Hitler decided to withdraw his troops in the south of France. But they didn’t leave quietly – they shot 35 resistance fighters and 14 PoWs before leaving on August 19, 1944.
After heavy rains melted the snow, the Isle suffered a 100-year flood and reached four-and-a-half metres on December 8, 1944. There were 7,000 victims and a third of Périgueux was flooded.
By the next year relations with Germany were starting to heal. In 1945, Hans Kowar, a German prisoner of war was working in Bergerac, on a farm of the priest Henri Cellerier, who taught German language in Périgueux. The two men become friends and Kowar introduced his town, Amberg, to Cellerier. In 1961, a Perigord municipal delegation went to Amberg and the twinning was formalised on October 2, 1965. Many exchange visits and events have taken place since.
Following the 1939 evacuation of 80,000 Alsatians to the Dordogne – mainly in Périgueux for Strasbourg people – one in five remained in Périgord.
Armishaws can move you to or from anywhere in the UK or Europe. We have lots of fully-trained staff and a fleet of modern vehicles.
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Why Choose Armishaws for your move
Armishaws can design a service to fit any need. We have multiple branches and we are the best local choice, with a reliable team providing a fantastic value service to make moving or storing your possessions a piece of cake. We have loads of experience in helping with moves to anywhere and everywhere.
It’s achingly beautiful here, and well connected to the rest of France and beyond. There’s nothing to dislike!
The Périgord agglomeration is served by Péribus – 11 main lines and a network of 14 low frequency secondary lines. A free electric shuttle operates in the city centre.
Périgueux-Bassillac airport is in Bassillac, five miles away.
The Périgueux canal was used to transport goods such as wood, coal, iron, cast iron, lime, barrels of wine, oil, walnuts, chestnuts, tiles, pottery, flour, etc. But theIsle was officially closed to navigation in 1957.
Périgueux railway station offers connections to Limoges, Bordeaux, Brive-la-Gaillarde, and other regional destinations.
Périgueux’s vintage festival is held over three days at the end of August. This is an amazing event with cars, music, costume and vintage items from the 1930s to 1970s. Local shops and residents go to town on vintage outfits and decorations.
In July and August, the Concours de la Truffe d’Argent is held, devoted to French-speaking songs, with several categories and trophies.
In August, the Sinfonia en Périgord Festival is devoted to baroque music. And the Macadam Jazz festival involves concerts around the city on Tuesdays in July and August.
St. George’s Day is celebrated on the first May weekend. All along rue Talleyrand-Périgord there are rides and fairground attractions and a fishing competition is organised. The event usually ends with a fireworks display.
The Périgueux Fair-Exhibition is held for nine days in September, at the Marsac-sur-l’Isle exhibition centre, with various events and conferences.
The city’s carnival features a parade of floats throughout the city.
Every two years an, International Book Fair is held.
There are lots more festivals covering food, music and sports.
The international festival of mime is held at the end of July. Roller Boulevard evenings are held in June.
The Latin American Film Festival isin October and an International Solidarity Week takes place in November.
Périgueux has been a stage city of the Tour de France three times.
Several regional and even national competitions are held each year in Périgueux, involving all kinds of sports – rugby, petanque, cycling, tennis, golf and athletics.
The city has ten public nursery schools, one private nursery school, eight public elementary schools, and five private elementary schools.
The region manages three general and technological high schools, four vocational high schools and the department manages five colleges.
The Périgueux university site in Grenadière brings together training courses from the University of Bordeaux as well as the Higher School of Teaching and Education.
The Bertran-de-Born public high school has preparatory classes for the major literary and scientific schools (PCSI and PC courses).
Château-l’Évêque covers a wide area and is crossed from north-east to south by the Beauronne, a tributary of the Isle.
Less than a mile from the village a long avenue of lime trees either side of the road forms the North River site, listed since 1977.
The village is at the confluence of the Beauronne and its tributary, the Mesplier stream, four miles from Périgueux.
There is a train station here.
There was a leper colony here in 1318, and two Neolithic sites have been found here.
In 1347, Adhémar de Neuville, the bishop of Périgueux had the castle of Château-l’Évêque built. It became a summer residence for the bishops of Périgueux. In 1364, the parish was partly destroyed by the English. In 1412, 280 English fighters were in Château-l’Évêque, burned three houses, then took and destroyed Pressac.
Château-l’Évêque was restored in 1515 by the bishop of Perigueux. Pierre VIII Fournier, bishop of Périgueux, was strangled by his servants on July 14, 1575 in his castle.
It was not until 1831 the village took its current name. The canton of Périgueux was split into three in 1973 and Château-l’Évêque was part of the new canton of Périgueux-Nord-Est.
There are about 2,500 residents here and over 130 businesses.
There are several historic buildings here, including the Noble house of Vessat, a former stronghold of Barbarin and an old wash house on the Mesplier stream, at the bottom of the castle.
The oak forest of Feytaud occupies about 350 hectares. It is protected as a natural area of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest (ZNIEFF) type II.
It is home to two species of protected buzzard – the Common buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) and the Honey buzzard ( Pernis apivorus ).
Cut stones found on many sites here point to settlements of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, however no evidence of a permanent establishment has been discovered.
Located near Périgueux, the village population exploded in the 1980s. It is now part of Grand Périgueux.
The village holds the Votive festival the weekend of the third Sunday of May, featuring fairground attractions, a meal taken together in the public square, a large free raffle, a pétanque competition and a night ball.
A book festival is held in June.
The Chateau Borie-Petit, built in the 15th and 17th centuries, is a listed historical monument, which has been turned into an equestrian centre.
The 17rth century Chateau Borie-Brut is now a recreation centre.
The area also boasts the 18th century castle Vigneras and Saint Mark’s Church, built from 1874 to 1877.
Beside the church, the library (the former home of the steward of the lordship of Champcevinel) and community centre (old vicarage) both date from the 16th century, and Manor Boisset is 16th century.
Cornille is six miles from Périgueux, away from the main road.
On June 12, 1944, 13 hostages were shot at a place called Les Piles after a clash between a group of resistance fighters and the Germans.
Cornille joined the community of municipalities of the Truffle Villages of the Portes de Périgueux in 2001, before joining the new Perigord urban community in 2012. It is now part of Grand Périgueux.
There are about 700 residents here, and over 30 businesses.
A tree climbing course and a mini golf course opened in April 2018 at a place called Lacombe, near the departmental road.
There are a few historic buildings here, including the 15thcentury Castle of the Forest, and an 18th century dovecote.
An obelisk was built by the Count of Barde in 1836 and the Church of St Eumache, dates from the 12th century, extended with chapels of the 19th century.
The national forest of Lanmary, an area where many orchids and ferns flourish, is classified as ZNIEFF 23. It occupies a thin strip of the eastern and south-eastern borders of the town.
The town of Agonac stretches over both sides of the Beauronne valley, a tributary stream of the Isle.
Crossed by the Beauronne, Agonac is seven miles from Périgueux. It is served by the Limoges – Périgueux railway line. The white Périgord village is located in the middle of a hilly region full of walnut and truffle oaks.
The roots of Agonac go back centuries. In the tenth century, Gourdon Frotaire bishop chose an inaccessible hill overlooking the valley to build one of five forts that were to protect the region against the invasion of Normandy.
In the Middle Ages, Agonac was a walled town protected by ramparts and accessed through four passages: Porte De Ripagay, Porte Palenchart, Porte Foscheyrencha and to the northeast, the only one still in existence, Porte Salseyron.
During the First World War, when the town had more than 1,400 inhabitants, 276 of them went up to the front, and 56 were killed.
On the night of June 13, 2007, particularly violent thunderstorms accompanied by torrential rains caused a sudden flood of the Beauronne. Forty houses were damaged in Agonac. These houses were built at the bottom of the Beauronne valley from the 1980s, where there used to be pastures that were regularly flooded.
The town has about 1,800 residents and over 100 businesses. The company Green Oaks nursing homes in Agonac ranks 49th for turnover.
The Castle of Agonac was built in 980 and rebuilt at various times. The manor of Agonac is 17th century.
There is also the 19th century Charterhouse of Pouliquet, the Château de Gourjou and its chapel, and the 11th century church of Saint Martin.
Chalagnac is in the southwestern part of central Périgord.
The village is on the heights between the valleys of Serre and the Chantebrune stream, 200 metres south of the departmental road 44. It is six miles from Périgueux.
The first known written mention of the name of the village appears to be from the 13th century.
On Cassini’s map of France between 1756 and 1789, the village is identified under the name of Chalaignac.
Chalagnac has about 450 residents and 40-odd businesses.
It features several historic buildings, including the Gothic Church of Saint-Saturnin and the chapel of Saint-Jacques.
Castle Rossignol was built in the 15th and 18th centuries.