Perigord noir


Sans titre




 Porte des Tours
 © Picture Philippe Boite


Domme loked to 12 kilometres from Sarlat, constitutes certainly a must in your stay in the region.
( See the map: click here)

Domme has many surprises in store for the walkers, it's crossed by picturesque streets and strewed with houses in beautiful fair stone, with numerous small hidden flowery gardens; do not hesitate to follow its ramparts or to admire the vast panorama on the Dordogne valley, from where the romantic writer Henry Miller was able to write " that the vision of the black and mysterious river, down from this beautiful cape, is something for what you are grateful for the rest of your life "

To see :

vallée de la dordogne

The "terrasse de la Barre" : gives maybe the most beautiful panorama of Périgord. The sight extends over all the alluvial plain as for as Roque-Gageac. Enjoy the walk along the cliffs.

The natural caves with concretions: the biggest cave rehabilitated by black Périgord, one of the most beautiful also. Along gallery and several rooms running(roaming) under the city, marked out by diverse and magic concretions, stalactites and stalagmites, drapery, pot, etc... A panoramic elevator is ready for use today. Place de la Halle.

The door of Tours, is the most important three city gates. Towers were of use as prisons to the Knight Templars. The latter left us poignant testimonies on walls, by means of esoteric and fabulous graffitis. To see them, contact the tourist office (guided tours only).

  History :

Domme is a bastide (new city founded on royal decision) constructed in 1281, on a cliff, by t he french king Philippe III le Hardi to ward off the English threat.

Its construction took decades, because the first colonists had difficulty in overcoming the obstacle of the ground. The King, irritated, answered by taxing the inhabitants, weighing down of so much their burden and their sufferings. Domme was finally finished and established with considerable privileges. Its jurisdiction extended over the surrounding territory and had the right o mint its own coins.

Inevitably, owing to its strategic position the city went though various ordeals during the Hundred years' war, the city ceaselessly passed from a camp to the other one.

halle de domme

After the trial of the Knight Templars in 1307, the hardly built Door of Tours, while it was to be used as a shelter for the guardroom, was used at once as a prison for the Knight Templars; up to 70 persons were locked there. At hat time the Knight Templars engraved there message, still visible graffiti today but still indecipherable. Words, crucifixes, characters, dates and diverse symbols are the soucalled message. From 1318, there were no more traces of the Knight Templars, who were all dead. Nobody is went out again living on the prison.

All the city remained catholic during the religious wars, Geoffroi de Vivans, the protestant captain of the garrison of Castelnaud and companion of the future Henri IV, decided to seize it. He made an attempt in 1572, but his tremendous defences resisted, even him. In 1588, he tried again his luck and used guile, his favourite weapon which made him famous. On a dark night, he sent a armed group to climb the cliff of the Barre. The people of Domme, considering the ascent impossible, had neglected to protect this side of the city. It was awareof its error too late, the squad having got into the city opened the doors to the rest of the armed group. Geoffroi de Vivans remained 4 years only at Domme. After having demolished the buildings which he did not like, such as the church and the convent, he sold the city to the king's representative and went away.

Then Domme the uprising of the périgourdins crisp until the 17th century . Domme lost little by little of its importance until the French Revolution which gave it the deathblow by depriving it of all its privileges of bastide.

Cut off from the main arterial roads, without any industries, Domme became victim of the drift from the land.

Domme come down through the ages but ramains authentic and offers itself to us such as it was. Which allows the city to be listed the most beautiful villages of France.


Information :

One-way traffic in the bastide. Car park inside but possibility of parking outside, the traffic is very heavy in the tourist season.


                                                                     Thank J.Kaigre for translation



The Black Perigord