Paysage Périgord Dordogne

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Welcome to Perigord

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Welcome to Perigord

Making History

It was in Périgord that human ingenuity and a talent for uniting mind and motion really came into force. The first prehistoric tools used for industry and the traces of this challenging past can only stir our emotions.

Our region, the Dordogne, is most certainly called as such because of the river running through the middle of it. From its source at the top of the Massif Central mountains, it crosses the Périgord to leave the Garonne and finally reach the ocean. Other rivers, crossing forests and shaping stones, formed our industrial history. The force of the Auvézère river created the forges that provided the fearsome cannons of Louis XIV’s Kingdom. On a calmer note, the recycled materials and woods surrounding the river Couze changed a modest village into a paper capital of the world when the printing press came about. Flat boats called “gabarres” and “coureaux” have naturally shaped the inland waterways here. Timber, wood, wine, and various other kinds of trade, gave our Dordogne its nickname “the river of Hope”. Textile spinners, old windmills, and many factories have been carefully restored to share the revived knowledge of our elders with visitors. In Nontron, the river Bandiat flows along the edge of town. Its purity was united with granite, ore, and a touch of human ingenuity, to create France’s oldest knife, whose traditions are still celebrated today.