Montignac, Dordogne - travel guide
This very pretty village on the Vézère River is most famous for being home to the Lascaux Caves (and Lascaux II caves).
However as well as visiting the caves Montignac is also well worth a visit.
One of the first things you will notice is the river with its attractive stone bridge and attractive balconied houses along the river front.
Head for the tourist office and ask for a carte touristique. The tourist office is also right by the ticket office for Lascaux and so you can buy your tickets at the same time. The carte touristique highlights a walk which takes you past the main buildings to see in the town. The walk takes about half an hour to complete.
Starting at the tourist office, which is housed in the ancient Hopital of St Jean l'Evangeliste, first of all take a look in the building opposite - the Prieuré Saint Georges. This is now home to an indoor crafts market selling a variety of crafts including jewellry and paintings.
Other interesting sights you will see are the Couvent des Clarisses built in the 18th century, great views across the river at houses with an upper floor which sticks out over the lower floor. These lovely balconied rooms often have the attractive wood and timber walls which are quite common in the Dordogne area. Your walk eventually winds up above the town and up to the level of the castle which sits on its own small hill. The views over the castle and the town below are superb.
The main road in Montignac is the Rue de la Pègerie full of 14th century buildings which were once busy shops and homes to wealthy merchants. Many are half timber buildings and at No.1 the house is thought to have belonged to Jeanne d'Albret, mother of king Henry IV of France.
The Chateau de Montignac was once a very important castle in the region, but now stands largely in ruins.
Heading back down into the town and the Place de l'eglise. The church contains an important painting - 'La Mort de Saint Bruno', a 17th century oil painting thought to be by Juan Sanchez-Cotan a contemporary of Greco.
Near to the church is the lovely Place d'Armes which has some very nice houses dating from the 14-18th centuries.
As you are walking round you will find plenty of nice bars and restaurants to stop for refreshments. Whilst I was there the town was also decked out in colourful bunting for its summer season - very pretty.
At at the end of July Montignac is host to the Festival of Folklore de Montignac.
Well worth a visit in between cave adventures!
Places to Visit Nearby
The Lascaux Caves really are worth a visit, the paintings are absolutely fabulous. The nearby villages of Saint Amand de Coly and Saint Leon sur Vezere are two of France's classified most beautiful villages and the Chateau de Losse just 5 km away is a small but charming castle in a pretty setting on the banks of the Vezere river.
Map of Montignac with places to visit
To visit close to Montignac
This page in French: Montignac (version Francais)