Photo of Terrasson

Visit Terrasson

Terrasson is a lovely town with blue slate rooves on many of the buildings, unusual in most of the Dordogne region.

These can be best appreciated from the Jardins de l'imaginaire (see Dordogne gardens section) - these renowned gardens are a big attraction in Terrasson and should not be missed.

Explore Terrasson-Lavilledieu

But don't forget to look around the town as well - it is very worthy of exploration.

The town sits either side of the river Vezere. On one side is the newer part of town with most of the shops and also the place where the market takes place. Market day is Thursday and sits on the edge of the river - a lovely setting on a sunny morning.


Over the river is the old town. Head uphill towards the right (with the river behind you) and you have the stunning Jardins de l'Imaginaire. Continue uphill and to the left and you enter the old town of Terrasson. This area is not huge but it is very attractive.

The old town is all paved and cobbled and largely pedestrianised. The walls are a pale creamy stone and the rooves a grey slate. Mostly the houses are stone but some are half-timbered and all are in different styles providing an interesting mixture of styles.

The highlight is the Place Bouquier about halfway up the hill. This has some fabulous buildings on it and also a gardened area leading up to the abbey church above. Notice the coat of arms made of pebbles and tiles and set into the floor.


Look out for the Rue de la Marzelle which has a wonderful building with a tall stone pillar surrounding a half-timber building.

Continue up to the church and from here you get some stunning views back down over the Place Bouquier and the surrounding town.

The original 11 th century church of Saint Sour was destroyed in the Hundred Years War and then in a period of prosperity in the 15th century the abbey church was rebuilt - this time in Renaissance style. Much was again destroyed in the Wars of Religion. The church has now been renovated.


Below the church on the Place Bouquier are various sights of interest. One of these is the beautiful Maison Bouquier with its attractive facade. Also notice the building with the wall painting of a Cluzeau.

Cluzeux are caves cut into the rockface and are thought to have been created as refuges as they all contain a water source. There are 12 cluzeaux in Terrasson and two can be visited. One of these is near to the house with the wall painting on a small side-street.

Head to the west from Place Bouquier and you can see the ramparts of the town and the cliffs called the Falaise du Malpas. There is a good viewpoint at the end of the ramparts.

Above the church is the Chateau Seigneurial called the Chateau Brossard de Marcillac.

Another of Terrassons highlights is its 12th century stone bridge crossing the river. Cross the Pont Vieux, or 'old bridge' for some excellent views of Terrasson and of the charming houses built on the rivers edge. This is also the place where you can board a 'gabare', which is a traditional style boat, and take a trip down the river.

Places to visit nearby

The superb Lascaux caves are only a few kilometers from Terrasson and it would be a great shame to miss them. These can be found from the town of Montignac which is a very pretty small town on the edge of the river Vezere. The Chateau de Hautefort is also close by. The Chateau de Hautefort is a magnificent chateau surrounded by beautiful formal gardens.

See also Find Terrasson hotels

Photos of Terrasson

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • billetterie-jardin
  • cluzeau
  • colombage-house
  • fountain
  • gabarre
  • painted-house
  • place-bouquier
  • place-bouquier1
  • place-de-la-genouillac
  • pont-neuve
  • river-edge
  • rue-de-la-marzelle
  • sarcophage
  • town-hall
  • view-terrasson

Map of Terrasson and places to visit


Terrasson places to visit

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

An attractive contemporary garden above the town of Terrasson.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire guide


Condat sur Vezere is a small village with a cascade of water next to the main square.

Condat-sur-Vezere guide
Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Saint Amand de Coly guide


Montignac is a lovely riverside village and home to the Lascaux caves.

Montignac guide
Lascaux caves

Lascaux caves

The Lascaux caves are filled with awesome prehistoric paintings.

Lascaux caves guide


Badefols d'Ans is a pretty visit with an attractive church and chateau.

Badefols-d'Ans guide