kilometres from Sarlat, constitutes certainly a must
your stay in the region.
( See the map:
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 "
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).
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.
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.
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
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
such as the church and the convent, he sold the city to the king's
and went away.
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.
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
from the main arterial roads, without any
victim of the drift from the land.
One-way traffic in the bastide. Car park inside
but possibility of parking outside, the
traffic is very heavy in the tourist season.
J.Kaigre for translation