La Citadelle


Bergerac is the second largest town in the Dordogne, second only to the administrative capital, Perigueux. As the centre of a major wine-producing area, with a river port with access to the sea via Bordeaux, Bergerac was formerly the most important town in the region. Now it is a busy market townwith a mediaeval heart.

Apart from the well-known "Bergerac" wine, the region makes a range of wines including Pecharmont, Montravel and Montbazillac. Most of the vineyards lie on the flood plain of the River Dordogne, and on the slopes of the low rolling hills bounding the plain to its north.

La Citadelle stands in the Montravel sub-region to the west and north or Bergerac.

Bergerac has a busy international airport (code ECG) with daily flights from very many parts of the British Isles (although not Paris!).  This provides very easy access to La Citadelle (less than half an hour), with all the usual international car hire companies present at the airport. Currently (2007) the low-cost airline serving Bergerac are Ryanair, Flybe, and BMIbaby.

Its excellent harbour on the great River Dordogne helps to explain Bergerac's importance. From here the "gabarres" or river barges carried the wine downstream to the seaport of Bordeaux.

Today the gabarres carry tourists up and down the beautiful river.

Their is a flea market down by the river on the first Sunday of every month.

Bergerac is a very important town, with large industrial and commercial centres on its periphery, and it also stands on the main east-west road along the river. 

It is worth visiting its bustling commercial centre and mediaeval heart. There is good parking in the Place de la Republique, and a lot of free parking on the edge of the river in the "old town".

There is an excellent saturday morning market around the church in the town centre on Saturday mornings and a slightly smaller one on Wednesdays. These markets sell the best strawberries in the world, grown locally, from March to November.

The commercial centre of Bergerac is packed with shops, really rather like a busy country town in England twenty or thirty years ago, before the chains took over.

As well as supplying the necessities of French provincial life, there are many galleries, restaurants, and museums, as befits an important tourist centre, and the main international gateway to the Dordogne.

The "old town" lies between the main shopping streets and the river. It is very compact, and is packed with mediaeval buildings. You can walk along by the river here or take a river trip.