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40 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Two Towns A Tale of

In this edition we visit the two popular towns of Eymet and Belvès. Both with great historical pasts ….

FIRSTLY EYMET Eymet sits on a bend of the River Dropt at the southern end of the Périgord. A site that’s been occupied by man since pre-historic times. Pieces of pottery, jewelry and utensils from the Bronze Age have also been recovered. Eymet was also clearly an important town during the Roman occupation; several villas have been uncovered. The bastide town that exists today was founded in 1270 by Alphonse of Poitiers. Many notable buildings including the tower and a gateway have survived. The architecture includes half-timbered and arcaded medieval buildings. Many examples of which line the lively and most attractive market square. You can also find the remains of the original castle, which serves to remind todays visitors of the towns long and often violent past. Originally the town walls, built in 1320, had four principal gates. However, these were destroyed along with the ramparts in 1830. There was a smaller gate known as ‘le Portanel’ which survives and overlooks the river today. In common with much of the region, Eymet was battered by the Hundred Years’ War, during which time

control passing between the French and the English many times. Then violent war-fare returned with the start of the very bloody Wars of Religion. During these wars Eymet became a Protestant strong-hold and was regularly visited by the then future King, Henry IV. There’s still evidence of these tumultuous years in the town today. Rue de l’Engin was, for example, given its name after an ambush and ensuing battle just outside the town in 1377. The victors brought their captives to the town. These captive-men had been, just prior to the battle, transporting their new weapon of war, ‘La Truye’ (a large battering ram designed to

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The Périgord Local Issue 2 May - June 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...

The Périgord Local Issue 2 May - June 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...