“Location: In the centre of the Dordogne, about 12km south of Sarlat. You will see signposts for “park and ride” car parks…..we recommend driving into the town itself (not on Thursday which is market day).
“General Info: Even if it wasn’t one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, Domme would still be high on the list of places you must visit in the Dordogne. Tourist office website.
“Description: This is a marvellous example of a walled bastide town with several fortified gateways in the town walls. It is situated high above the river with outstanding views of the Dordogne and the main châteaux in the area. Underneath the market square there is a cave with stalagmites and stalactites. There are a lot of tourist shops to browse!
“Recommendations: This town is beautifully atmospheric in the evening and on market day. We recommend that you wander around some of the back streets to add to the atmosphere. Look out for Msr Jean Claude Malandain, Domme’s resident artist who has been painting and sketching views of Domme for the last 15 years or so. You will be able to buy some of his work in the local shops.”
“Unusually among the bastide towns, Domme retains part of its original fortified walls and the gateways into the town. The ramparts are extremely thick and there remain three of the original doors The Porte des Tours is perhaps the most impressive, with its round towers but the Porte de la Combe and the Porte del Bos are both very pretty and are reached by walking down really lovely streets lined with a mixed array of houses and cottages all in the lovely honey-coloured stone distinctive to this region.
“The towers of the Porte des Tours were converted into prisons in 1307 when the Knights Templers were arrested by the king, and it is still possible to see the engraved crucifixes they carved whilst they were imprisoned. The prison is open throughout the year.
“You can walk round the ramparts on the south side of the town between the Port del Bos and the Porte de la Combe. There are some great views across the countryside (and glimpses of some very impressive houses and gardens built just inside the ramparts)
“Domme is larger than many of the bastide towns in the region, and because it is found perched high above the Dordogne River, with magnificent views over the river and surrounding countryside it is a ‘must’ if you are exploring the Dordogne region.”
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