The Ancient Town of Périgueux


Périgueux is a picturesque town in the Dordogne region of France. Popular with day-trippers, the town has a wealth of cultural attractions and offers many scenic, leisurely walks. Easily accessible by car or public transport to those staying in the gites of the Dordogne, Périgueux is a must-see for anyone interested in history or with a fondness for French culture and cuisine. The main sights of Périgueux are all easily walkable and you'll get to see lots of historical buildings and picturesque views as you move from one attraction to the next. One of the town's main attractions is the Vesunna Gallo-Roman museum with its spectacular glass-covered courtyard. The museum houses the remains of a decadent Gallo-Roman residence. A series of walkways and mezzanines allow visitors to observe the ruins close-up and provide a real insight into what life would have been like for the Roman inhabitants of the house. The walkways run around and above the ruins, providing a fantastic view of the ornate plaster work and surviving architectural features. The Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie du Périgord is another must for culture-vultures and is housed in an old Augustine convent building. Widely recognised as one of the most important prehistory museums in the whole country, the Allées de Tourny attraction's main draws include a 15,000-year old skeleton. You'll also find fantastically preserved mosaics and other Roman exhibits here. If you still haven't had your fill of history, make sure you pay a visit to the Galerie Daumesnil. A series of interlinked 15th century passageways and courtyards, this is a low-key yet fascinating glimpse into the town's past. Those staying in self-catering gites will be delighted to find a fantastic daily food market on Place du Coderec. The best place in the area to buy locally grown fruit and veg, the market is a great place to stock up on provisions for your holiday kitchen. The Place du Coderec itself is an attractive square with some fine historical buildings so it's a pleasant place to stop for a drink or snack. Eating out in Périgueux can be as inexpensive or as extravagant as you like. There are a number of fine restaurants, ideal for celebrating a special occasion, but also many informal bistros and cafes. On a sunny day, the pretty town squares and streets are the perfect setting for a leisurely alfresco lunch or sitting with a drink and watching the world go by.