The perched village of Belvès

Written by Mélina Landas

Classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and a recognised holiday spot, the medieval village of Belvès dates from the 11th century and is considered to be the ancestor of neighbouring bastide villages. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the green valley of the Nauze, it offers a magnificent panorama of the Black Périgord and the horizon. At the edge of the village the forest of ‘Bessède’ - a stunning natural area with many paths and tracks and a great place to explore.

 

Its strategic position (between Sarlat and Monpazier) has given Belvès a turbulent history, and the village was under siege several times during the one Hundred Years and Religious Wars. The village has many beautifully preserved buildings including troglodyte dwellings, medieval towers, magnificent church, belfries and a castle, all strategically organised around the 500-year-old central hall. Belvès is also known as 'the Village of the Pope' and 'the town of seven bell towers’ and was the main village in the canton from 1790 to 2015.

This beautiful village is today one of the most attractive of the Dordogne, it’s an excellent place to visit and take in the history of the area. The best way to seriously explore Belvès is to have a guided tour and the tourist office is the place to start

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