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Fortified Towns of Purple Périgord

Long coveted, the Bergeracois unveils numerous fortified towns, (ten of British origin : Monpazier (1284), Beaumont du Périgord (1272), Villefranche du Périgord (1261), Molières (1278), Lalinde (1267), Fonroque (1284), Puyguilhem (1265), Monestier (1284), Villefranche de Lonchat (1280), Roquepine (1283)... and only one of French origin : Eymet (1270). On the 18 fortified towns distributed over the Périgord, 11 are situated in Purple Périgord.

The fortified towns were created in the 14th. and 15th. centuries, and they are situated in the South-West of the Dordogne department (country of the Dropt river). They are witness to the confrontation between the king of England and the count of Toulouse whose fortified towns were built in Agenais. The main characteristic of a fortified town is its geometrical design articulated around the Marketplace. The fortified town of Monpazier, less than 4km from the Le Moulin de David campsite, is certainly the most beautiful fortified town of Périgord.

The Fortified Town of Monpazier - 1284 (British)

A hiking path accessible from the campsite, will directly lead you to the fortified town of Monpazier located at only 3km from the Le Moulin de David campsite.

Built in 1284, under the reign of the king of England Edward the 1st., Monpazier is considered as the model fortified town among 300 fortified towns of the Greater South-West. Its perfect rectangular design develops itself around the angles' place surrounded by houses built between the 13th, and the 17th. centuries.

Eight hundred years old, the fortified town of Monpazier has kept its original character in spite of the vicissitudes of time and of the religion wars. Considered as the most beautiful fortified town of France, it has been elevated to the rank of «Great National Site», with Capdrot and Biron, in 1991 and is part of the "Most beautiful Villages of France".

You have three possibilities for visiting the village :
  • alone (and free) with a map, given at the Tourist Center, allowing to visit the village with the help of the explanatory panels (French-English and diagram). This visit can be livened up by a game-booklet (questions related to the panels) to discover an enigma.
  • with a guide (in July - August) every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 hours at the rate of €4.60 per head.
  • with an audio-guide, all the year long, without booking €3 per audio-guide (ID document as guarantee).

Remark : For the visually impaired and the blind the audio-guide is adapted but booklets in braille or with large characters are lent.

The Bastideum introduces you the history of the ideal bastide village: start your visit with the former convent, the Couvent des Récollets, home to an exhibition which holds the key to understanding this new town of the Middle Ages (extracts from films, testimonies, leaflet/game, virtual overview etc.) then head back into the streets, armed with your multi-media guide full of interviews, 3D reconstructions, quizzes etc. and let yourself be led through the streets of Monpazier!

The Fortified Town of Beaumont du Périgord – 1272 (British)

This fortified town was built in 1272, for Edward I, king of England, by Luc de Thaney, seneschal of Guyenne.

The town is designed like a H. According to the legend it was in remembrance of king Henri I, father of Edward I. Near the central square is the Saint Laurent church, a magnificent fortified edifice of the 13th. century, of British Gothic style, one of the most remarkable in the whole South-West.

Beaumont-du-Périgord still has vestiges of its fortified enclosure and a double gate for defense recently restored, the Gate of Luzier which date from Louis the 11th. king of France in 1461.

The Fortified Town of Eymet - 1270 (French)

Founded on the 28th. of June 1270, by Alphonse de Poitiers, count of Toulouse, the Fortified Town of Eymet changed hands many times during the Hundred Years' War till the battle of Castillon and the reconquest of Aquitaine by Charles VII, in 1453. The fortified town of Eymet is the only fortified town of Bergeracois. Built on a mouth of the Dropt, a quiet river which has seen for a long time the circulation of barges, the small medieval town built in 1270 is ideally situated, at the junction point of a region with landscapes, architectures and economies at the same time different and complementary: the Haut Agenais, the Entre Deux Mers and the country of Duras... and, in the North, the Bergeracois, country of fortified towns and of sunny vineyards.

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