This ancient city, the capital of the Dordogne, was named after the Gaulish Petrocorii tribe as indeed was the Périgord itself. It is divided into two districts each defined by its main church – St Stephen’s Collégiale (St Etienne), which was the Cathedral until 1669, dominates the Cité district and the massive Byzantine inspired St Front, which is now the Cathedral, and dominates the Puy St Front district.
Allow at least a day to explore the city fully. Most of the vestiges of the Roman period can be found in the Cité district and this was in fact the original town known to the Romans as Vesunna after a sacred spring found here.
Don’t miss the Arènes which, although it was used as first as a bastion against the barbarians and later as a quarry, still gives a good idea of how it must have looked in its heyday. The Temple of Vésone and the Musée Gallo-Romaine are nearby.
The St Front district has much of interest too, especially Cathédrale St Front which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and was restored by Abadie whose design inspired the Sacré Coeur in Paris.
Market day: Saturday and Wednesday