Main Births etc
Périgueux
Top:Panorama view of Saint-Front Cathedral in Trélissac Hills, Middle left:Statue of Thomas-Robert Bugeaud in Bugeaud Square, Middle right:Barbadeau Castle (Le château de Barbadeau), Bottom left:Isle River and Saint Geoges Bridge (Pont Saint Georges), Bottom right:The tower of Vésone (La tour de Vésone)

Coat of arms



Périgueux is located in France
Périgueux
Coordinates: 45°11′34″N 0°43′18″E / 45.1929, 0.7217Coordinates: 45°11′34″N 0°43′18″E / 45.1929, 0.7217
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Dordogne
Intercommunality Le Grand Périgueux
Government
 • Mayor (2014–) Antoine Audi (UMP)
Area1 9.82 km2 (3.79 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 29,080
 • Density 3,000/km2 (7,700/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 24322 / 24000
Elevation 75–189 m (246–620 ft)
(avg. 101 m or 331 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Périgueux (French pronunciation: [peʁiɡø]  ( listen); Occitan: Peireguers [pejɾeˈɣɥes, pejɾeˈɡœː] or Periguers [peɾiˈɣɥes, peɾiˈɡœː]) is a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.

Périgueux is the prefecture of the départment. It is also the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese.

History[edit | edit source]

The name Périgueux comes from Petrocorii, a Latinization of Celtic words meaning "the four tribes" – the Gallic people that held the area before the Roman conquest. Périgueux was their capital city. In 200 BC, the Petrocorii came from the north and settled at Périgueux and established an encampment at La Boissière. After the Roman invasion, they left this post and established themselves on the plain of L'Isle, and the town of Vesunna was created. This Roman city was eventually embellished with amenities such as temples, baths, amphitheatres, and a forum. At the end of the third century AD, the Roman city was surrounded by ramparts, and the town took the name of Civitas Petrocoriorum.

In the 10th century, Le Puy-Saint-Front was constructed around an abbey next to the old Gallo-Roman city. It was organised into a municipality around 1182.

During the year 1940, many Jews from Alsace and Alsatians were evacuated to Périgueux.

Simone Mareuil (a lead actress from the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou) committed self-immolation on 24 October 1954 by dousing herself in gasoline and burning herself to death in a public square in Périgueux.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Isle flows through Périgueux.

Population[edit | edit source]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 9,898
1800 5,733 −42.1%
1806 6,306 +10.0%
1821 8,452 +34.0%
1831 8,956 +6.0%
1836 11,576 +29.3%
1841 12,187 +5.3%
1846 11,455 −6.0%
1851 13,547 +18.3%
1856 16,291 +20.3%
1861 19,140 +17.5%
1866 19,633 +2.6%
1872 19,956 +1.6%
1876 24,169 +21.1%
1881 25,969 +7.4%
1886 29,611 +14.0%
1891 31,439 +6.2%
1896 31,313 −0.4%
1901 31,976 +2.1%
1906 31,361 −1.9%
1911 33,548 +7.0%
1921 33,144 −1.2%
1926 33,389 +0.7%
1931 33,988 +1.8%
1936 37,615 +10.7%
1946 40,865 +8.6%
1954 40,785 −0.2%
1962 38,529 −5.5%
1968 37,450 −2.8%
1975 35,120 −6.2%
1982 32,916 −6.3%
1990 30,280 −8.0%
1999 30,152 −0.4%
2008 29,080 −3.6%

Sights[edit | edit source]

Sights include: the remains of a Roman amphitheatre (known locally as the arènes romaines) the centre of which has been turned into a green park with a water fountain; the remains of a temple of the Gallic goddess "Vesunna"; and a luxurious Roman villa, called the "Domus of Vesunna", built around a garden courtyard surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle now housed in the Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum.

Périgueux Theater Palace

Saint-Étienne Church

Cathedral[edit | edit source]

Cathedral of St Front

The bell tower of St Front's cathedral

The cathedral of St Front was built after 1120 and restored in the 19th century.

The history of the church of St Front of Périgueux has given rise to numerous discussions between archaeologists. Félix de Verneihl claims that St Front's was a copy of St Mark's Basilica in Venice; Quicherat, that it was copied from the church of the Holy Apostles of Constantinople. M. Brutails is of the opinion that even if the style of St Front's reveals an imitation of Oriental art, the construction differs altogether from Byzantine methods. The dates 984–1047, often given for the erection of St Front's, he considers too early; he thinks that the present church of St Front was built about 1120–1173, in imitation of a foreign monument by a native local school of architecture which erected the other domed buildings in the south-west of France.

The local architect, Paul Abadie (1812–1884), was responsible for radical changes to St Front's which are no longer appreciated by architects or local residents who prefer the purer Romanesque church of Saint-Étienne de la Cité, the former Cathedral of Périgueux.

The cathedral is part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

Transport[edit | edit source]

Périgueux railway station offers connections to Limoges, Bordeaux, Brive-la-Gaillarde, and other regional destinations.

Personalities[edit | edit source]

Périgueux was the birthplace of:

  • Georges Bégué (1911–1993), engineer and agent in the Special Operations Executive
  • Jean Clédat (1871–1943), Egyptologist, archaeologist and philologist.
  • Francine Benoît (1894–1990), composer, music critic and teacher, who gained Portuguese citizenship in 1929. She taught pianist Maria João Pires and composer Emanuel Nunes, amongst others.

International relations[edit | edit source]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit | edit source]

Périgueux is twinned with:[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation" (in French). Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères). http://www.cncd.fr/frontoffice/bdd-region.asp?action=getRegion&id=2#tabs3. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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