Friday, 1 July 2011

Le "Périgord Blanc" - Ma Campagne

From time to time,
 a few days ago after an amazing sunset,
I felt the need for a 'ride' over the countryside.


Next morning, sky somewhat over-cast, but I knew that it will brighten up during the day.

So, I went on a 'round-tour'
to see some of our friends living nearby.

Come with me for a stroll to encounter the very soul of our region, the Périgord Blanc,
so rich in light and emotion.


You may remember "The dancing trees" at the entrance of the village La Tour Blanche,

from my post in March  here  Old Farmers Linen

now those dancing trees are 'dressed' and embracing each other.

 La Tour Blanche Castle
The remains of the Tour Blanche fortress have seen many changes of fortune over the centuries
(image by Dominique Audrerie)


 Les vaches - Oh  les vaches!

a group of young Limousin cattle - just at the foot of this Chateau

I love cows! And doesn't the whole scenery look like centuries ago? So natural and authentic.

When they cought sight of me they suddenly frooze,
staring hard at me, thinking what ???

And this one, slightly apart from the others,
started to walk towards me after I called to him or her.

A few kilometers further on...

La Bagatelle

 A Domaine and hunting lodge from the 18th century, 
surrounded by 100 hectares land with nearly untouched forests,
home to deer, wild boar and so many other wild creatures.
Included within the Domaine a large farm and 3 fishing lakes.
My last visit here was a few years ago at the previous owners, when I was asked to value all their antiques.
The present owners I do not know.

the driveway up to the Chateau comes the sun!


One of our friends, an English lady, lives in an old village house
with a small but interesting courtyard at the back...

a garden in a 'manageable' size and a lovely view.

Having had a cup of tea and a nice chat with her,  back on the road again.

There are four Périgords in the Department Dordogne:
the "Périgord Vert" (Green Périgord) with its main town of Nontron,
consists of verdant valleys in a region crossed by many rivers and streams;
the "Périgord Blanc" (White Périgord) situated around the department's capital of Périgueux,
is a region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys and meadows;
the "Périgord Pourpre" (Purple Périgord) with its capital of Bergerac, is a wine region;
and the "Périgord Noir" (Black Périgord) surrounding the administrative center of Sarlat,
overlooks the valleys of the Vézere and the Dordogne,
where the woods of oak and pine give it its name.

We are living in the "Périgord Blanc" adjoining to the "Périgord Vert"


By mid-afternoon -  bright sunshine, blue sky
We all live in old houses, rather unpretentious, and more or less restored!

This one is a typical Périgordian property, dating back to the 16th/17th Century

with a very large Manor house and lots of barns and outbuildings,
restoration started years ago and goes on and on...and on.......



...and a lot of work....

...repairing and replacing some of the shutters and doors in the old style, 
aging and painting them to match the original ones, the roof repairs, the interior...the stone work... seems to be endless!

 To restore an old property like this one, who was abandoned for years, a real task for life!
 Not to mention the maintenance of the whole place!
With an orchard, vegetable garden, woodland, small forest, and...and ..and!
It requires deep passion and love, first for this region and then for its old houses;
or a fat chequebook, a bottomless purse and a crew of employees, which none of us have.
It is a miracle how we all manage to cope.

Beautiful old trees - magic!

No, it's not Oskar!  
It is Froggie, one of the 6 cats living here, having his catnap on his favorite place
which was specially build for him in this old yew tree
(Poor thing lost one leg in an accident years ago and cannot climb-up anymore, therefor the ladders)


Time to go on to the next place...

Just off the main road, a small track leads to another friends house,
  through a wonderful little forest...

where trees have their on mind how to grow!

And around the corner a stunning panoramic view

This was originally a wealthy farm, dating back to the 17th Century,
 with roofs which are so typical for our region here, the Périgord Blanc

Restored about 10 years ago

In front a beautiful old lime tree

the original pond...

...which in the old days quenched the thirst of the cattle

Lilly, the Labrador, is greeting me....
 by the time I arrived it was already 6 o'clock, the front of the house is facing east,
 not enough light....for photos 

but the courtyard is facing west

one of the barns, converted into a large 'play' and pool house

We all love details!

The house has been restored very tastefully, more images in a future post

On my way back home...
'French 1920-30's style'

Crossing the river Isle...

It feels like time stood still....

two dogs bathing and playing....

an old paper mill from the 19th century


Further on, right next to the road
  a late 19th house with two palm trees and a modern roof!



This  Maison de Maitre belongs to some of our French friends,
an old Périgordian aristocrat family.

Too late to 'pop-in'...
but made some photos on an earlier visit in April

Oh - all this old lime stones!

all the land - right down to the river at the other side of the road - belongs to the property

back of the house


details ...which we all admire and try to keep

Back home...

the late evening sun is bathing our entrance hall in gold

it was a good day

Best wishes to all of you for a sunny Weekend!

This is a name with a ring to it, the stuff that dreams are made of.

More about the Périgord in my post from May
here  Périgord - Mon Amour


  1. Your lovely and beloved Périgord!

    Man kann die Liebe zu diesem Landstrich, seinen Bewohnern und den charmanten alten Gemäuern spüren!

    Bonne weekend!

  2. Beautiful post Karin. Loved all the details, the lichen on the trees, the spare but very effective architectural details, the limestone buildings and the not so small efforts by the inhabitants to make sure that nothing jars the senses.

  3. What a wonderful tour Karin, your pictures as always, are absolutely stunning.
    The work in renovating these old buildings is a real labour of love, especially when a bottomless purse is not available. You should all be very proud of your achievements.
    Julie x

  4. To live amidst the stunning and authentic beauty- you are a lucky gal!

  5. thank you for the beautiful tour! i was fortunate enough to visit france two weeks ago and am missing the countryside. there was no time to travel your area, but we will definitely have to explore that part of the next trip.

  6. Hi Karen
    That was an absolutely glorious tour through your hometown.A beautiful treat for which I thank you.
    Helen Tilston

  7. Heaven. Karin, this must be heaven? I loved going on the little tour with you...simply beautiful, another world. xx's

  8. Wow Karin! Your images are amazing! we are trying to capture some images of the beautiful French countryside, but we've only been so successful. Your images are sublime!


  9. KARIN truly magnificent in every detail and what a beautiful walk too ,the trees are wonderful the roof ,the gates ,the fields what wonderful homes I LOVE all of it ENJOY

    fay xxx

  10. Ahhhh, I'm going to come back for a longer look! So, so beautiful...thank you Karin!

  11. Karin, these images are beautiful. The homes have so much character and are breathtaking!

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