Perigueux: the town and its history
Discovering Perigueux is like looking through a history book. Climb aboard the time machine and let’s discover the history of our town. By visiting the Art and Archaeology Museum in Perigueux you will journey back to mankind’s origins by means of the numerous prehistoric exhibits.
The town’s heritage will take you back to the magnificence of the Roman Empire with its many architectural remains and its Gallo-Roman Museum Vesunna which will allow you to appreciate the riches of the antique city of Vesunna. Vesunna, the town, was also a goddess surprising for her proud and majestic temple.
Our journey into history has only just begun. Strolling down a medieval side street, walking from square to square you will encounter half-timbered houses and the sumptuous residences of rich Perigueux merchants, endowed with lofty towers.
In this extensive historic district it is the cathedral which sits prominently on its hill (puy). The building, of which the inhabitants are justly proud, is in the form of a Greek cross surmounted by domes Byzantine in their inspiration. The originality of the building comes from the various restorations from the 19th century onwards. Built on the St James of Compostella Pilgrim Wag (a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998) the cathedral remains to this day an important stage in the pilgrims’journey.
As you stroll through the centuries you will also discover the delicately decorated and sculpted Renaissance private residences.
But the history book of Perigueux is not yet closed! In the 19th and 20th centuries the extensive town planning development left a ground plan of long straight streets, wide boulevards with perfectly aligned façades, bay windows, balconies, tall buildings of rented accommodation…in fact we have an atmosphere of Haussman’s Champs Elysees in Paris, an atmosphere of the 19th century and the “Belle Epoque”.