Sarlat, France is an amazing historical place. What can you see in Sarlat and Dordogne area? An alternative to Lascaux II because you actually get to see the real thing, these caves have 250 examples of Upper Paleolithic art, either etched into the rock or painted. You enter the caves on a tourist train that follows an one-kilometre course, and if you don’t speak French it’s worth getting the audio guide, which is provided on an ipod. It’s also a good idea to get there as early as possible as entrance is limited to 550 a day, after which people are turned away. Dating to around 13,000 years ago, 158 of the representations depict mammoths, but there are also bison, woolly rhinos and if you keep your eyes peeled you’ll also see four humans.
Place des Oies is where you can see the life-size bronze statue of three geese that seems to appear on every postcard of Sarlat; birds that have served as a delicacy for many Salardais over the centuries. Meanwhile, on Place de la Liberte, many visitors might experience a feeling of deja vu, as this iconic square has often served as a backdrop for films.
Perigueux: The old Roman town of Perigueux is deliciously small and provincial. Farmers flock into town on Saturdays and Wednesdays to sell their produce at the superb morning market. Wooden trestle tables crammed with fruit and veg vie for attention with the pearly-white domes of Perigueux’s Byzantine cathedral, evocative of St-Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Around the corner on place St-Louis, the November-to-March duck market sees gourmets and grandmothers furtively hand over cash in exchange for goose hearts, duck livers, every imaginable part of the duck – dried-blood pancakes called sanguettes included. Come December, the heady aroma of black truffles heightens the foodie excitement.
Looking for Sarlat-la-Caneda hotel rooms? The origin of the abbey is lost in the legends. It exists since the ninth century, forming part of the six great abbeys of Perigord (Paunat, Belves, Saint Front de Perigueux, Brantome, Terrasson). The Carolingian Abbey of Sarlat is the only one that was saved from the Vikings, located away from the Dordogne River and its tributaries. It was able to remain independent and, in the year 1153, was put under the direct protection of the Holy See in Rome. In the year 1317, the abbey was the seat of the new bishopric created by Pope John XXII. The abbey church was transformed into the cathedral of the diocese of Sarlat. From there began the architectural transformation of the city with the construction of a parish church as well as numerous manors. From the fourteenth century on, bishops and consuls shared power until the Revolution. Sarlat played an important role during the Hundred Years’ War with its status as an episcopal city. The town became a reserve for men of arms, ammunition and provisions. The city was fortified, but it was also defended by the castles located in the surroundings, and it could lend aid to other cities besieged by the English: Belves, Domme, Montignac. However, Sarlat was taken by the English as a result of the Treaty of Bretigny in the year 1360. It joined the King of France again ten years later, when the Constable of Guesclin defeated the English. If the victory of Castillon put an end – in the year 1453 – to the Hundred Years’ War, the wars of religion caused additional damage a century later. The city played the same role as before, yet had to surrender twice and suffer the exactions of the captain of Vivans and Viscount Turenne. See more details on hotels in Sarlat.