8 South West of France Tour Ideas
The HistoryThe vine, known in Latin as vitis vinifera, has been brought to Europe by Phoenicians more than 3000 years ago. It spread from the commercial ports of Greece, Italy and Spain all over the continent.
The culture of vine flourished in the Gaul especially after a new variety, known as "Biturica" after the name of the population living at the time north of the Pyrenean Mountains "the Bituriges Vivisques", variety more resistant to cold temperature and that is the ancestor of the nowadays Cabernet was introduced.
During the Roman occupation, Emperor Domitian issued in 92 AD an edict that ordered the...
What and Where
Situated in the South West of France the Dordogne department, known before as « Le Perigord », is one of the most beautiful regions of France. Its name comes from the most important river that crosses the region: La Dordogne. Dordogne department is one of the 5 departments of Aquitaine region (beside Gironde, Les Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrenees Atlantique).
The most important cities of the department are: Périgeuex - la capital of "la préfecture" - and Nontron, Bergerac (no, the famous writer Cyrano de Bergerac was not born there but in Paris!!!) and Sarlat - the 3 "subpréfectures"....
Henri IV, Henri IV... so many places to see so little time.The story of the life of King Henry IV begins in the winter of 1533 in the Pau Castle - where he was born and finishes in the summer of 1610 in Paris when he was killed by the religious fanatic Ravaillac in Paris.
Henry IV is considered even now in the republican France "Le Bon Roi Henri"; - the good king!
His legend is marked by his bravery on the battle fields - "Le Panache Blanc" - his appetite for love -"Le Vert Gallant" and his care...
This tour idea is not centered on ONE story but on THE STORIES of the mysterious, unusual and legendary sites it features. If you like enigmas, things that even until now historians could not agree upon, if you fancy going treasure hunting, here is a list of 14 places in the southwest France that you would not want to miss while visiting there - some are even worth a trip on themselves.
To see all the sites click above on "SW France Suggested Tour Itinerary" ...
The Catharism story is the story of the Minne - the ideal, sublime love - , of the troubadours - the knights who knew how to use the sword but also the pen and the harp - , the sons of Belissena, the Moon Goddess, the "Pure Ones", of fallen angels and of the world created by Lucifer. It is also the story of the most spread heresy of the Middle Ages, the first actions of the Inquisition and struggle...
The Salt Tax CollectorStarted in 1667 the « Canal du Midi » - "The Canal of the South"-, one of the technological wonders of the 17th centuries, is inaugurated in May 1681.
At the inauguration time its name is "Royal Canal of Languedoc" the name that is changed to "Canal du Midi" during the French Revolution.
The canal is in different degrees the achievement of five remarkable men: King Louis XIV the absolute ruler of the kingdom who approved the endeavor, his finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert who understood the importance of building a water highway that links Mediterranean Sea with...
UNESCO World HeritageVézère River valley prehistoric sites in the Dordogne department of the south west France are listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Nowhere in the world does the quality and quantity of the prehistoric artifacts equal the ones found in Dordogne.
The history of the... prehistoryWe can argue that prehistory as a science was born in France in the middle of the 19th century when Jacques Boucher de Perthes - considered the "father of the Prehistory" - brings about the acceptance of the idea of mankind's history in a very distant passed time and the notion of...
Petit Gentilhomme de BourgogneSebastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban, Marshal of France and the most important military architect and city besieger during the reign of King Louis XIV, was the second son of Urbain Le Prestre, signeur de Vauban and Edmee de Cormignolle, minor Burgundy aristocrats, born on the 15th of May 1633 in Saint-Leger du Foucheret (Saint-Léger-Vauban), close to the town Vezelay, now in the department of Yonne.
A good student he excels in mathematics and technical drawing in the college affiliated to the convent of Carmelites de Semur where was admitted...