The weather having improved a bit over the last few days, we went to Bergerac today. What a lovely town it is! We had a wander around the market and then found the Tourist Office, which was actually open, and came out with some literature and details of some attractions which are open at this time of year (unfortunately most are shut!). We then just had a wander and found the old historic part of the town, heading down towards the Dordogne river.
This monument commemorates the 1870 war
The infamous Cyrano de Bergerac (6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French dramatist and duelist. In fictional works about his life he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. Portraits suggest that he did have a big nose, though not nearly as large as described in works about him.
On our meander down towards the river we found lots of narrow, intriguing little lanes and some fabulously old buildings:
The river is still very high!
We found a river-side bar for a coffee as it had started to rain. France ain’t cheap anymore as this photo proves! 6 € for 2 small cafe-au-lait!!!
It had stopped raining by the time we’d had our coffee, and we wandered back towards the centre on town and a walk around the Notre Dame.
Notre Dame church in Bergerac was built in the 19th century to accommodate the whole congregation of the expanding city.
It was designed by the architect Paul Abadie in Neo-Gothic style. It is topped with an 80-meter high steeple whose first floor opens on the nave while acting as the gallery. The nave is flanked by two narrow side aisles. A transept is in front of the apse with an ambulatory and has with three vaults. Two beautiful pictures can be seen in the East chapel:
- a Worship of the Magi, attributed to Pordenone, a Venetian painter, student of Giorgione; and especially
- a Worship of the Shepherds, attributed to Ferrari Milanese, student of Léonard de Vinci
In the West chapel, an immense Aubusson tapestry with Bergerac’s coat of arms, is on display.
A beautiful church, with some lovely stained glass windows, but sadly the photos I took of the windows didn’t come out well!
We loved Bergerac, and would like to come back at some point in the future to explore it further.