|back to Dordogne contents||
Next village on the road,
just after the bridge is SAINT-CYPRIEN, very touristy in full season, with a
nice collection of old houses, typical of the Perigord. Notice the Romanesque
church with its bulky 12th century bell tower. Here you can leave the big river
for Les Eyzies and the Vezere, or continue down the big river. Forrests and an
old Cistercian abbey amid the orchards will welcome you at CADOUIN.
The centre of the village is a sturdy Flamboyant “HALL”, of 1154, peopled with old houses and other “halles”.
The roman “Eglise Abbatiale” impresses us, due to its austerity, all the Cistercian spiritualism of the 12th century. But the abbey is worth all our attention Here, but the most important is the famous Abbey Church and Cloister, reputed of getting hold of a precious gift:” THE SAINT SUAIRE”, a cloth used to wrap the head of the Christ, some competitor of the lesser shroud of Turin.
The Cloister, with its four galleries and 26 “travées d’ogives”, as well as its s remarkable bays, doors, portals and sculptures, is a genuine work of the highest art of the flamboyant Gothic period (15-16th century .The small museum inside, “Musée du Suaire” evokes 8 centuries of intense religious fervor to this “relic”, considered for a very long time as the real one. The tissue of this 11th century cloth is exposes in the “sale capitulaire”. And had a number of very important visitors: Richard Lion heart, Eleanor d’Aquitaine, Saint Louis and Blanche de Castille, Charles V, Rabelais and a lot more.
Cadouin has also a Musée du Velo (Bicycle), with a rare collection, of bicycles from the invention in the early 19th until 1947.
And by returning to the Dordogne river (D 25), you will pass the Compostela pilgrimage route to BUISSON-de-CADOUIN with its river beaches and campsites.
Before setting down in the plain surrounding Bergerac, let’s visit a last stretch of glorious scenery between le Buisson and Lalinde.
First let get to LIMEUIL.The best way to arrive is unfortunately from the D 31
Coming from Tremolat) but you will be thrilled by this adorable little town. Fortified, flowered, guarding the junction of the Dordogne and the Vezere. It kept its charm and intimacy and is almost a must-STOP.
Three mighty gates, a snug village inside, with cobbled streets and stone cottages laced with ivy and roses. A church, the domed St.Martin, a “Jardin Musée with lovely orchids.
Let’s push to TREMOLAT, another charming village, same remarks as Limeuil, maybe less pretty.