Behind the church, you find the “Belvedère de la Barre”, a terrace with a fantastic view on the Dordogne valley. You can see La Roque Gageac and the rocks of Marquayssac gardens. From this view point, you can walk along the border of the cliffs on the “Pomenade des Falaises” to the public garden from where you also have very nice views.
Differently than other fortified medieval towns, Dommes streets are not arranged recangular, but instead it has a trapezoid city plan. This is probably due to the uneven location. There are three town gates, of which we passed two by car. As we came from La Roque Gageac, we approached the town from the west and took the western gate “Porte del Bos”. We later left the town via the “Porte des Tours” at the east, to go back to Sarlat. This huge town gate is the landmark of the town and also was used as prison in the past. Around 1300, many Knight Templars were imprisoned here who left several graffiti on the walls.
Domme is a nice place for a little walk. Located on top of a plateau, it is not as hard to access as other villages in the area - the ground being uneven, but not steep it's even possible for wheelchair users to come up here. The streets of Domme are beautiful in an unobtrusive way - nice old sandstone buildings, flowers here and there, a few squares where one can enjoy a coffee. Nothing too spectacular, but nothing boring either.
Located at 250m above the Dordogne, the promenade and the little square at its end are the place to be in Domme. From here, you can enjoy an unhindered view over the valley with the Dordogne meandering through it. To the west you can see as far as Beynac (another unmissable village of the Dordogne region), to the east as far as the Cingle de Montfort. But even without spectacular buildings right opposite the terrace the view is worth coming to Domme. I would have loved to see the sunset or sunrise from here, or the colours of autumn or the whole valley covered in snow... Instead, we came on a fine spring day and enjoyed the first bits of green in the landscape below us.
The Folk museum is located on the main Market Square behind the ancient Halle (that is now the entry to the grotto). The large sign on the museum simply says, “Musée” and there is not much indication of what is inside. We’ve been to Domme several times so were looking for things to do and noticed the sign so decided to see what was inside.
Good decision. It’s a collection of area and town history with wooden sabots, old tools, diaramas of long-ago life, coins, stamps, dolls . . . and generally everything local and historic. It was interesting and fun.
The actual name of the museum is L'Oustal du Perigord, Musee d'Arts et Traditions Populaire
The Belveder de la Barre is at the cliff edge in Domme and gives a view of the Dordogne river and its valley. It is visible to the West (downstream) to about Beynac, upstream past a bridge nearby and past a 90+ degree turn North to La Roque-Gageac and Montfort. These features can be seen clearly (especially through a pair of binoculars)
Not surprisingly, the church and Place de la Halle are at the center of the town. This is typical of bastides. Just beyond the Halle (whose age we do not know) is the Governor's Mansion (18C). The parish church was rebuilt in the 17C and has a flat bell-tower extending the plain facade. The original church was destroyed in the Wars of Religion. Next to the church is a large (3m tall) statue of a burly child with a pitch-fork. (See Our Custom Tip). It is a short walk from here to the Belvedere for the famous views.
The damages ramparts exist between the gates Porte del Bos and Porte de la Combe. You can walk along side of them. They are in lesser condition and quite different from the impressive Port des Tours whose towers once imprisoned Templars.
Almost from any direction the views from the city are spectacular. You will need plenty of film or memory cards when you visit this town.
The local market was one of the best that we have been to. Unlike many markets, most of the stalls displayed local products.