After visiting Vesunna, the Gallo-Roman museum which traces the ancient history of the town and also illustrates its modernity thanks to the architecture of Jean Nouvel, head for the medieval centre and stroll around the cool, narrow streets and alleyways of Puy-Saint-Front at the foot of the cathedral. The area around Rue Limogeanne has many Renaissance buildings from the Golden Age of Périgueux. The Musée du Périgord houses many wonderful collections including prehistoric, ethnographic and art.
Prehistory at the Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie du Périgord (Museum of Art and Archaeology)
This museum takes you on a fascinating journey back in time from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. Its impressive collection of tools and rare objects recount the saga of this era, one of whose heroes was Chancelade Man who lived in Périgueux on the banks of the River Isle.
Numerous Gallo-Roman remains
2,000 years ago, Périgueux was a rich, prosperous Gallo-Roman town named Vesunna with temples, public baths, a 20,000 seat amphitheatre and splendid villas decorated with frescoes and mosaics.
Many remains of this ancient era are still visible today such as the Tour de Vésone (Tower of Vesunna), the most sacred part of a sanctuary built at the centre of Vesunna by the Romans in the 1st century, Jardins des Arènes (gardens), Porte Normande (gateway) and the collections at the Musée Vesunna.
Renaissance houses – signs of prosperity
Maison Lapeyre, Maison Estignard, Logis Saint Front, Maison des Consuls, Maison du Pâtissier are just a few of the many Renaissance houses that can be seen in the Rue de la Sagesse, Rue de la Miséricorde and Rue Limogeanne in what is today one of the largest conservation areas in France.
Périgueux, a go-ahead town with a full programme of events
The market at Périgueux is an absolute must for ‘foodies’ with its wide range of local speciality foods. The ""Marché au Gras"" is held at Place Saint-Louis every Wednesday and Saturday from November to March, when about 30 producers from all over the Dordogne region come to present, give tasting samples and sell their top-of-the-range quality produce.
During the summer, visitors get together at festive gourmet suppers, sitting at long tables to enjoy good food with a musical accompaniment.
Other Périgueux festivals include Mimos, the International Mime Festival and Vintage Days
A few other events : Fêtes de Saint Georges, Wednesday evening markets in July and August, torchlight walks in summer, Festival de Musique de Nouvelle Orléans (New Orleans Music) in August, Journée médiévale(Medieval Day) in August, Maccadam jazz/concert in the streets on Tuesdays in July and August, Truffes d'Argent (singing competition) in July and August, Sinfonia-Festival International de Musique Baroque end of August, Péri'meuh and Heritage Days in September, Salon International du Livre Gourmand (Food and Book Fair) in November, Marchés au Gras markets every Wednesday and Saturday from mid-November to end of March, Christmas market in December.
Périgueux today – a go-ahead town with a relaxed lifestyle
Thanks to modern town-planning, the centre of Perigueux has excellent amenities and recreational areas : cinema complex, university, Place Francheville and a peaceful ‘voie verte’ (traffic-free greenway) where lots of locals walk at weekends. Parks and gardens include Parc Gamenson, Jardin des Arènes, Jardin de Vésone... and the town was awarded 4 flowers in the French towns and villages in bloom competition.
On the outskirts of Périgueux, more than 200km of signposted footpaths run through the forests and along the river. Canoe down the river to admire the countryside or play a round of golf at Saltgourde municipal golf course with bar and restaurant in a quiet setting, 5 minutes from the town centre.
Contact : OFFICE DE TOURISME DU GRAND PERIGUEUX 9 bis place du Coderc 24000 PERIGUEUX
SatNav : Lat. 45.184525 Long. 0.7210208
Périgueux is in Périgord Blanc, 20km from Brantôme, the Venice of Périgord.