Dordogne: Tourism, Nature and Prehistory

The Dordogne, also well-known under the former name Périgord (department 24), is situated in the south West angle of France and is part of the Aquitaine region.

The population
The inhabitants of the Dordogne are called Périgourdins (related the name of the former province Périgord). The population is around 400,000 who live in an area of 9,060 km². Dordogne is the third largest province of France. For our standards the cities in the Dordogne are large villages. The capital Périgueux has only 30,000 inhabitants. ; however during the summer there are of course also thousands of tourists. A village such as Terrasson grows then of 6,400 to 20,000.

List of the 10 largest municipalities in the department Dordogne:
1 Périgueux +/- 30.000 
2 Bergerac +/- 27.000 
3 Sarlat-la-Canéda +/- 10.000 
4 Coulounieix Chamiers +/- 8.100
5 Trélissac +/- 6.500
6 Terrasson Lavilledieu +/- 6.00
7 Boulazac +/- 6.200
8 Montpon-Ménestérol+/- 5.500
9 Saint-Astier +/- 5.200
10 Rampieux +/- 4,000

The (pre)history
The history of the Dordogne starts 25.000 - 10.000 before Christ. There are many caves with prehistoric drawings such as Lascaux, Rouffignac and Cap Blanc. Several attraction parks are based on the prehistoric topic with the animals from that time and the habits. Very instructive for children. At that time several species lived, that has died out now such as: the mammoth, the prehistoric ox, the woolhairy rhinoceros, the wild horse and the reindeer. The population of the Dordogne at that time, called the Cro-Magnons, were hunting these animals.

The Gauls and the Romans rules from 59 BC up to 284 AC. From 486 up to the 10th century the Merovians and Charlemagnians. There were many wars between France and United Kingdom from the 11th century up to the 15th century. At that time many bastides have been built like Domme. The province Périgord itself was established during the French revolution, on 4 March 1790.

Popular sports in the Dordogne
The Dordogne has many beautiful golfcourses; the landscape is sloping, therefore ideal for golf. You can make canoetrips on Dordogne, Vézère, and Dronne, the landscape varying from gorges (mount gaps), castles, woods and cornfields. The area is also perfect for walkingtours, biking, mountainbiking and horsebackriding.