Photo of Urval

Visit Urval

Urval is a tiny village in the south of the Dordogne department near to Siorac-en-Perigord. Whilst small both the village and setting of Urval are very pretty and worth a visit if you are nearby.

Urval is in the Perigord Pourpre, 'Purple Perigord' part of the Dordogne.

Explore Urval

Urval is a small village but it is set in a valley in the beautiful Dordogne countryside and boasts some delightful Perigourdine style houses. It also has three particular monuments that make the village well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood. These are its church, its castle and its communal bread oven.

The church is the eglise Notre Dame de la Nativité and it is a fortified Roman style church and dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Take a look inside, it is beautifully simple and has some attractively carved chapters at the front. Two of the columns are unusually made of black marble and are thought to have originally been used in a different building.


Above the main church area there are defensive rooms which were a refuge for the village when under attack.

For me the highlight of the village is the communal bread oven, 'the four banale'. Most villages had a communal bread oven which was owned by the seigneur (the lord) of the village and all the villagers had to pay a fee to use the oven.

Often the village hall and the mill were also owned by the seigneur and had a charge for their use too. These charges were one of the most hated of the 'droits seigneurieux' (lord's rights) in France.


Urval's bread oven dates from the 14th century and unusually in Urval is also the accommodation for the 'fournier' - the man who looks after the oven. This is still there complete with its wooden pigeonnier.  The shelves on the left are where the loaves were placed when they were taken out of the oven.

The bread oven was put into operation again during World War One and is used every year during the village festival which takes place in August.

Wandering down through the village there are some lovely stone houses with steeply sloping perigordine roofs and below the church is a stream and the mill and even a family of swans to complete the picture!

There are a couple of restaurants in Urval and so it is possible to linger and enjoy the atmosphere of this pretty village.

On the edge of Urval is the Chateau de la Bourlie which is a private chateau dating from the 15th century. Its gardens are nominated 'remarkable gardens in France' but are open by rendez-vous only.


Places to visit near Urval

Urval is 8km from Belves just south of the Dordogne river. Belves is classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Urval is also close to Cadouin which is another beautiful village and is also home to the excellent Cadouin Abbey and cloisters.

See also: 

Photos of Urval

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Map of Urval and places to visit


Urval places to visit

Coux et Bigaroque

Coux et Bigaroque

Coux et Bigaroque-Mouzens is three combined villages with some stunning houses.

Coux et Bigaroque guide


A quiet village close to the Prehistoric sites of the Vezere Valley.

Siorac-en-Perigord guide
Les Jardins de Planbuisson

Les Jardins de Planbuisson

The Jardins de Planbuisson is a garden almost entirely planted with bamboo.

Les Jardins de Planbuisson guide
Cadouin Abbey and Cloister

Cadouin Abbey and Cloister

Cadouin Abbey is a 12th century Cistercian abbey with a beautiful Gothic cloister.

Cadouin Abbey and Cloister guide


Cadouin is a charming village with a Cistercian Abbey and a Gothic cloister.

Cadouin guide
Les Grottes de Maxange

Les Grottes de Maxange

The ceilings of the Maxange cave are covered in a tiny and rare from of twisting stalactites.

Les Grottes de Maxange guide