« From one bank to another », in the course of river, in the course of time... you are invited to a stroll between two banks !
The « Les Sentiers Nautiques » label is attributed by the French Federation of Canoeing and Kayaking and highlights some activities projects which are suggested by a club and an helping collectivity. These associations want to introduce the inhabitants or the french tourists to the environmental potential (about nature or historical heritage...) of a place while a supervised practice of canoeing, kayaking or linked disciplines.
The local council of Périgueux and the canoeing club ALP GNP signed a partnership convention with FFCK in order to offer mostly legacy rounds on the Isle between the Moulin Sainte Claire and the Guinguette de Barnabé. It is the third french round which has been approved by FFCK.
Since 2015, the inhabitants and the tourists which are passing in the town can treat themselves to a stroll on a canoe during two hours with a qualified helmsman and a tour guide. The passengers will row in complete safety. Meanwhile, the guide will introduce them, with an amazing and previously unseen viewing point, to the Cité des Pétrucores from its river called the Isle. The Isle will be the common thread of this round among the twists and turns of the history of the town through its more than 2,000 years of history. In the course of river, in the course of time... Have a nice meeting with each of these people who made at their time the town and the river, for what would become Périgueux, our current landscape.
Here are the striking points of this round on the river which starts from the Moulin Sainte Claire with a quick walk at the heart of our history :
– A quick point will remind the human settlement from the last 500,000 years to our current years, in Paleolithic era, in sandpits and swamps of the Ice Age, around the river, the accomodation during the Neolithic era, then the Gallic accomodation of Bronze Age and Iron Age on the hills of Ecorneboeuf and Boissière located in front of the starting point.
– The telling of the story of the river linked to the antique town, from the first to the fifth century (the amphitheatre, the temple of Vesone, the domus, the forum, the thermae...) with the architectural height of the Pax Romana and the decline of Civitas Petrocurium two centuries later.
– The construction of the Gallo-Roman enclosure and the episcopal and earl's City.
– The mill of Sainte Claire, the towpath, the lock keeper's house and the story of navigation, inland water shipping, the opening of the canal. These points will be the pedestrian starting point of the visit.
– Then the embarkation aboard the Vesunna I or II and the equipment under the Pont Japhet footbridge will allow the participants to go through ages, from the High Roman Empire to Middle Ages by evoking the union between the Earl's City and the Bishop's City and the burg of Puy-Saint-Front in 1240. Then the birth of Périgueux, its commercial activity (tanneries, wool spinning mill, ironworks, railway, tobacco's manufacture...), its important fluvial trades with Libourne, its rich heritage of monuments (Middle Ages then Renaissance) with its private mansions, its bridges, its historical monuments (Eschif de Creyssac, the excise duty, the bent bridge Tournepiche, the emblematic Cathédrale Saint Front, all the dwellings on wharves, the old streets, the wharves, medieval fortification...), its famous figures (the Pompeia family, Bishop Frotaire, Minister Pierre Magne, architects Louis Baptiste Catoire and Paul Abadie, the writer Eugène Leroy, some painters...).
– Here comes the time after Renaissance. Then the stroll leads you to the spatial expansion of town since the XIX° century, at the foot of Prefecture which was the place of expensive and splendid celebrations, along the troglodyte cliffs typical in Périgord Blanc, the Rocher de l'Arsault, well-known for its legends.
– The rowers will sail back up to the Belle Epoque and the Guinguette de Barnabé (with an Art Deco style) where the young americans and the local youth went to debase themselves... It was the time of the first paid leaves and there some brief romance were born...
– The dark hours of religious war, epidemics, and floods that destroyed Périgueux for centuries will be evoked.
– Fauna and flora, rich on this wayback, will be evoked too, letting ourselves peacefully slide in the course of river, in the pleasant light of a close of summer day...
This nautical stroll and the numerous pedestrian visit about history of Périgueux produced by the Tourist Office and the Department « Ville d'Art et d'Histoire » of the town complement one another. It is required to visit the museums of the town (Vesunna, Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie du Périgord, Musée Militaire).