Belvès is one of our favourite destinations in the Greater Daglan Area, and it seems as if we visit there every few weeks — either by car or bike. Well, evidently we’ve haven’t been visiting as often as we had thought, because we completely missed the major festival of Occitane culture that was held in Belvès at the start of July, and that left the town beautifully decorated.
Yesterday afternoon we decided to drive to Belvés, a little more than 20 kilometres west and a bit north of Daglan, simply to look around. And what we witnessed was a very well-decorated town — more than worthy of its designation as “one of the most beautiful villages of France.”
Belvès has a long and interesting history. Apparently it was occupied as long ago as 250 B.C., when a Celtic tribe called the Bellovaques lived there (and gave the town their name). It then became a medieval “bastide” town in the 11th century, when it was held by the English. History aside, it’s a handsome village that’s perched high on a hillside, with lovely views out over the countryside.
Here’s a look at some of the decorations, which had been put in place for the Occitane festival:
Streamers and hanging decorations seem to have been placed on virtually every street. This street is for pedestrians only:
Looking for a place to have a coffee, we wandered up the walkway to the main square. There stands an impressive church — built in the 13th century but with its belltower added in the 15th century — whose tower served as a sort of focal point, like this:
We sat near the church at the Pourquoi Pas? tea salon on Place d’Armes, enjoying the sunshine and the view across the street:
As we left the village, we had this view down one of the side streets:
Heading for our car in the main parking lot, we had this view outward from the village:
And finally, here’s the view from the parking lot itself: