Yesterday I wrote about our “push into the Périgord Vert,” where we visited Excideuil. Today I’ll continue describing our travels, with our two stops in the Périgord Blanc.
According to The Most Beautiful Villages of the Dordogne, “In the verdant valley of the Auvézère, Abbot Richard of Uzerche founded a Benedictine abbey in 1025 around which the village of Tourtoirac developed.” Roughly 986 years later, my wife Jan and I pulled into the village to give it the once-over.
Well, I wouldn’t rush back. We sat for a while by the Auvézère, which was a pretty enough river, and looked around at the houses and public buildings. Then we stopped at the church, which Jan visited briefly while I waited in the car. It turns out, once we returned home and I read the section on Tourtoirac in The Most Beautiful (etc.) book, that we could have and should have spent more time there. It’s full of things like “the beautiful gardens” and “a Romanesque chapel” and “a fragment of the fourteenth-century wall that once surrounded the abbey.” Oh well — I’ll have to visit another time. For now, for the record, here’s a photo of the church:
And then we were off, for a very lovely drive to the beautiful (and fairly large) village of Hautefort. As in:
This village, with its imposing chateau, is clearly worth a day trip — for instance, The Most Beautiful (etc.) book says “The formal gardens of the Château Hautefort are among the finest in France…” which is obviously saying something. Here’s the chateau, above the village that surrounds it:
And here’s a close-up of what our book describes as “two round towers, whose machicolations hint at the Middle Ages…” (Now I ask you: what other blogger brings you words like machicolations?)
Total distance for our trip yesterday — from Daglan through Sarlat and up into the Périgord Vert and the Périgord Blanc, and home again — was 205 kilometres. We arrived back in Daglan a bit tired but quite happy about the whole trip, and very happy indeed about the late-spring weather. The weather has been so good that flowers are busting out all over, like this tree near the chateau in Hautefort: