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Photo of Mareuil-en-Perigord

Visit Mareuil-en-Perigord

Mareuil-en-Perigord is known locally as Mareuil-sur-Belle and is situated to the south-west of Nontron. It is very close to the border with Charente in the northern part of the Dordogne department.

Explore Mareuil-en-Perigord

Mareuil was one of the original four baronies of the Perigord along with Beynac, Biron and Bourdeilles. Unlike the others the Chateau of Mareuil was built on flat land and protected by a moat rather than built on a hill.

Mareuil is now a sleepy village and its castle is much less impressive than those of Beynac, Biron and Bourdeilles but if you are holidaying in this relatively quiet part of the Dordogne department it is worth a visit.

Mareuil village centre

Mareuil is known locally as Mareuil-sur-Belle because the Ruisseau La Belle, a small stream, runs through the village. Mareuil is now part of a commune called Mareuil-en-Perigord which also incorporates the villages of Beaussac, Champeaux-et-la-Chapelle-Pommier, Les Graulges, Léguillac-de-Cercles, Monsec, Puyrenier and Saint-Sulpice-de-Mareuil.

There are two churches in Mareuil. The church of Saint-Laurence was built in the 12th century. Though later rebuilt in Gothic style it still has its Romanesque belltower and cupola. The Romanesque church of Saint Pardoux was also built in the 12th century and was altered in the 15th century.

The most important site in Mareuil is the castle. The Chateau de Mareuil was built in the 15th century. It is built on the site of a previous fortress that was destroyed during the Hundred Years War.

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The Barons of Mareuil were in charge of this northern part of the Perigord region and occupied the castle from the 11th to the 16th century. After that the Talleyrand family, Counts of Perigord and administrators of the region took over the site until the 19th century.

The castle is now open to visitors in the summer months from 1 June to 15 September. It is closed over lunchtime and closed on Sunday mornings. In September it is only open in the afternoons.

Inside the castle you can visit the Gothic chapel and there is a room dedicated to important figures in French history including V.M de Broglie who was the Marshal under Louis IV, and Marshals Lannes and Berthier who were best friends of Napoleon. The collection includes First Empire furniture.

Children will enjoy the activites themed around the Knights of the time including sword fighting, archery and making your own coat of arms.

Mareuil was the birthplace of one of the famous troubadours of the 12th century. Arnaut de Mareuil worked in the Courts of Toulouse, Bezier and Montpellier and twenty-five of his songs exist still including the music of some of them.

Chateau de Mareuil

Attractions nearby

Whilst in the area the pretty village of Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert is worth a visit for its pretty church and castle next to the river and Varaignes has an attractive centre.

One of the other four baronies that of Bourdeilles is nearby and is well worth a visit. It too has a pretty riverside setting. Its castle, the Chateau de Bourdeilles is a mix of Medieval and Renaissance.

See also: 

Photos of Mareuil-en-Perigord

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Map of Mareuil-en-Perigord and places to visit

 
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Mareuil-en-Perigord places to visit

Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert

Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert

Javerlhac is a pretty village on the edge of the river Bandiat, with a castle and church near the river's edge.

Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert guide
Varaignes

Varaignes

Varaignes has a chateau with a medieval keep in the centre and hosts an important turkey fair every November.

Varaignes guide
Chateau de Bourdeilles

Chateau de Bourdeilles

The Chateau de Bourdeilles specialises in medieval games.

Chateau de Bourdeilles guide
Bourdeilles

Bourdeilles

Bourdeilles is a charming village with a large castle.

Bourdeilles guide
Les Jardins Tranquille

Les Jardins Tranquille

A pretty river side garden on the edge of Brantome.

Les Jardins Tranquille guide
Brantome

Brantome

Brantome is arguably the prettiest town in the Dordogne.

Brantome guide
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