La Roque-Gageac, Dordogne
This castle is one of the best-preserved and best known in the region. This Middle Ages construction, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne river. We were late for the inside visit of the castle itself so we just wandered around the little village.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
one of the most beautiful romantic gardens of France and today the most visited garden in Perigord. Marqueyssac’s gardens offer more than 6 kilometers of walking paths along trimmed trees and bushes, Everything is done here by hand ( I am not sure -why ? at this time of mechanization). From the belvedere, at 130 meters above the Dordogne river, you will see the most spectacular panorama in Perigord.
Sarlat la Caneda
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia
UNESCO site: Inside Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia. This is arguably one of the most original and beautiful cathedral I saw.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia and Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi
Notre Dame of Carcassonne.
Lady of Carcassonne.
Legend: The legend takes place in the 8th century, during the wars between Christians and Muslims in the southwest of Europe. At the time, Carcassonne was under Saracen rule and Charlemagne’s army was at the gates to reconquer the city for the Franks. A Saracen princess named Carcas ruled the Knights of the City after the death of her husband.
The siege lasted for five years. Early in the sixth year, food and water were running out. Lady Carcas made an inventory of all remaining reserves. The villagers brought her a pig and a sack of wheat. She then had the idea to feed the wheat to the pig and then throw it from the highest tower of the city walls.
Charlemagne lifted the siege, believing that the city had enough food to the point of wasting pigs fed with wheat. Overjoyed by the success of her plan, Lady Carcas decided to sound all the bells in the city. One of Charlemagne’s men then exclaimed: “Carcas sonne!” (which means “Carcas rings”). Hence the name of the city.
History: Lady Carcas appears to be a fictional character. The legend dates back to oral traditions of the 12th century, was written down in the 16th century by Jean Dupre and rewritten in the 17th century by Guillaume Besse and Guillaume Catel. Charlemagne could not have besieged Carcassonne, as his father Pepin had already taken the city from the Saracens in 759 – Charlemagne would have then been 17.
Similar legends link a number of historical characters in other times and places with similar ruses. One of the earliest was the 6th century BCE Greek Bias of Priene who successfully resisted the Lydian king Alyattes by fattening up a pair of mules and driving them out of the besieged city. When Alyattes’ envoy was then sent to Priene, Bias had piles of sand covered with corn to give the impression of plentiful resources.
Castle of Peyrepertuse
Ruins cannot be seen at first because this huge fortress perched high on the rocky ridge. We walked the access path as in the past all men and animals did since 13th century. Its an amazing place with rich and long history of fight and survival. Walking around the walls, steps, cisterns, and other still standing elements awed me – how it was possible to build here this huge place!
Chateau De Quarubas, Dordogne
The Chateaus De Queribus and Peyrepertus are only two that can be viewed from each other and could communicate directly. Both keep watch over the whole region, from the sea to the Pyrenees. Even a hoof stirring the dust on the horizon could be detected immediately.