Nontron is the official centre of the Perigord Vert region of the northern Dordogne, and is well placed for exploring the region. The Regional Natural parc of the Perigord-Limousin is to the north of the town.
Nontron is set up high and has some excellent views over the valley of Bandiat. It has a quiet but pleasant centre with a number of interesting buildings to admire. To see columbage (half-timbered) buildings walk along the Rue Picaud or the rue des Ecoles and walk along the rue de Periguex for remains of the town ramparts.
The town has some interesting Renaissance buildings the best of which is the Hotel d'Albret on the Rue Camille-Chabaneau. There are various sculptures on the facade and inside there is a lovely stone spiral staircase. The house was built in the 15-16th centuries for Alain d'Albret, the great-great grandfather of Henry IV.
The main part of town centres around the mairie set in a large open square with a fountain in the middle. From here head past the Espace des Arts, housed in a chateau, inside are Art exhibitions and a boutique. Further on at Place Albert is the workshop and boutique of the famous Nontron knives and this can be visited throughout the year. Nontron has been making knives since the 15th century.
From here there are great views across to the rest of Nontron as well as of the valley and the lovely public gardens which wind their way down the steep slope to the river below.
The Jardins des Arts have various attractive contemporary creations including benches winding around a group of trees and various sculptures.
Nontron knives are famous throughout France and Nontron is one of the oldest knife-making institutions in France. Whilst here it is possible to see the knives being made and engraved and polished. Table knifes and pocket knifes are made here.
Places to see near Nontron
- the curious rock formations a few kilometres out of town at Roc Poperdu and Roc Branlant
- the medieval village at Bussiere-Badil
- the picturesque village and chateau at Varaignes.
- the Grotte de la Mairie at Teyjat which has some excellent prehistoric paintings (open July and August only on Saturdays).
Map of Nontron & places to visit nearbySaint Pardoux la Riviere 8km
Grotte de Villars 14km
Chateau de Puyguilhem 14km
Les Jardins Tranquille 18km
La Chapelle Faucher 19km
Chateau de Bourdeilles 24km
This page in French: Nontron (version Francais)