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Bursting with art and heart

Camille recently moved to the Dordogne area to study Hospitality/Catering Management at Savignac College. As an artisan wickerworker’s granddaughter and painter’s daughter, the young woman has always loved exploring craftsmanship and magical creations by talented artists. She set off on an adventure in Terrasson old town… follow the guide!

The gateway to the Vézère Valley, Grand Site de France

"Art begins with resistance" André Gide

This hidden gem has managed to celebrate art as well as (re)claim its place as a must-see site!

Terrasson is known as a “garden town” and is the gateway to the Vézère Valley, Grand Site de France. Join us on a tour of the old town exploring the artisan shops and studios.

Let’s meet a wood turner, designer, cutler, upholsterer, glass blower, potter and more craftsmen keeping legacies alive today.

River trade that shaped history

As a gateway to the Vézère Valley, the town have thrived in the Middle Ages thanks to river trade on the Vézère. But Terrasson-Lavilledieu felt a little “lost” between Périgord and Corrèze, as it tried to recapture its identity and glory days.

The town has spent over 20 years working hard to restore itself to its former glory and when she came, Camille was pleasantly surprised by the beautifully restored town ideal for a stroll.

The medieval uptown is a real historical gem with its narrow, winding and steep lanes.

This unspoilt place celebrates its age-old architecture, decorative features and greenery at every turn.

Terrasson is now a vibrant, popular and thriving little town ideal for a family outing.

Camille recommends coming on Thursday for the farmer’s market on and around Pont Vieux, the bridge between uptown and downtown.

A barge ride is an exciting way to soak up the town’s gems just as the merchants did in the olden days.

A real garden town

Architecture is the art of suggestion” Daniel Pennac

Terrasson has gone all out to turn these spots into an ode to nature by making them all a green architectural masterpiece: Gardens of Wonder.

Gaze at 13 contemporary creations that capture magical designs and the gardens’ history on terraces bursting with greenery and water features overlooking the town.

Feast your eyes on the “green theatre”, green tunnel” and “water gardens” as you explore this Remarkable Garden.

The town awarded 3 flowers by Floral Towns and Villages spritzes the air with the sweet scent of blooms downtown.

Camille can’t believe the abundant greenery in the old town, such as the French-trimmed hedge parterre that stands proud over the town between Place Bouquier and Saint-Sour Church.

Her favourite is the green Malpas cliffside, split into terraces that you can take a leisurely stroll up on the wooden walkway.

12 fountains are dotted all over the old town to freshen up the little lanes you visit and cool down your hot summer’s day.

In the old town, a craft village

Art does not reproduce what is visible. It makes things visible.” Paul Klee

Let’s discuss the USP that attracted Camille to Terrasson. The old town lies around Place Bouquier and is home to 18 shops with wonderfully olde world storefronts.

The young woman meets the artisans keeping their legacies alive. Camille goes on a sensational adventure exploring the worlds of:

Nicolas: The wood turner behind beautiful razors, pens, corkscrews and more…

Julie: The fashion designer who certainly has the right piece of clothing or accessory for Camille…

Agathe: The cutler introduces her to her painstakingly-crafted items…

Sophie: The upholsterer whisks her away to another world in her gallery bursting with artwork and handicrafts.

Thibault: The glass blower is a master of the mandrel and sculpts pieces in every shape and colour you can imagine

Julie: The cheerful potter with a soft touch that Camille loves…

The young woman takes a trip back in time in a thriving trade town where locals take pride crafting accessories and items to wear, eat, drink, learn, decorate their homes and make life that bit more beautiful!

Things to see and do in Terrasson-Lavilledieu

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

The quote by the great artist perfectly captures Camille’s sense of wellbeing on her trip to Terrasson.
A beautiful place with much to offer:

  • Musée du Chocolat Bovetti chocolate museum
  • Several cluzeaux (mysterious shelters dug into the rock) open to visit
  • Saint Sour Church, its rose windows, stained glass and the legend of Saint Sour
  • Set sail on board Le Vézère boat
  • Foie gras and truffle market between November and March

Places for lunch

  • Les p’tites pépites between Pont Vieux and the edge of the old town
  • La mandragore nestled in historical buildings overlooking the old town
  • Les agapes on the extravagant Place Bouqier
  • Au p’tit bonheur on the extravagant Place Bouqier
  • Le Banana’s kafé on the corner of Pont Neuf

Weekend break of longer…

  • La Maison de Léopold