Visiting Domme, France

Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures.

by and - last updated on 4/26/2024

Travel Tile Domme was only 12.7 kilometers from our rental in Sarlat-la-Canéda, straight south on the D-46. This area has a number of places we plan to visit; Domme, Château de Beynac and Château des Milandes - all which are located within 12 kilometers of each other.

Domme, located in the picturesque Dordogne region of southwestern France, is a charming village that exudes medieval charm and historical significance. Perched atop a steep hill, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking both beauty and history.

The village itself is a testament to France's rich heritage, with its well-preserved cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and a central square bustling with cafes and shops. Dominating the scene is the imposing Sainte-Marie Church, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. As you wander through the winding streets, you'll discover hidden gems like the ancient ramparts, fortified gates, and the eerie Grotte de Domme, a natural cave system with a fascinating history.

Domme also played a pivotal role during the Hundred Years' War, serving as a strategic stronghold. Its history is showcased in the Domme Museum, which houses artifacts and exhibits that bring the past to life.

A Brief History of Domme   Map

In 1281, King Philip III of France, also known as Philip the Bold, recognized the strategic value of the Domme plateau overlooking the Dordogne River. To solidify French control and counter the influence of the English Duchy of Aquitaine, he ordered the construction of a fortified town – a bastide. Domme was meticulously planned, following a rectangular grid layout with a central square and a church. This design ensured efficient defense and fostered a sense of community.

Domme's early years were marked by both prosperity and turmoil. The king granted the town the privilege of minting its own currency, a sign of its economic significance. However, the village was soon thrust into the heart of the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229), a brutal conflict between the Catholic Church and the Cathar heretics. Though Domme itself wasn't directly involved, the Cathar strongholds nearby felt the brunt of the crusade, leaving their mark on the region's history.

The 14th century brought another period of upheaval – the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). Domme's strategic location made it a target for both French and English forces. The town's fortifications were strengthened, with imposing gateways like the Porte des Tours serving as crucial defense points. Despite facing sieges, Domme remained under French control throughout the war, a testament to its resilience.

A interesting footnote to Domme's history occurred in 1307. Following the dissolution of the Knights Templar order, many knights were imprisoned in Domme during their trial. The harsh conditions left their mark – hundreds of cryptic Templar graffiti markings, featuring geometric symbols, can still be seen etched onto the walls of the prison, offering a glimpse into this dark chapter of history.

Exploring Domme   Map

Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Domme Entrance from the P1 Parking Area
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Strolling the Grand Rue
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Route D-46 Dordogne Bridge
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Northeast View of Le Port de Domme
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Le Belvédère Restaurant Front Steps
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. View from the Promenade d'Esplanade
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Place de la Halle
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Domme City Walls Turret
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Exploring Domme Streets
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Exploring Domme Streets
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Dordogne River
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. View North to Les Combes
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Le Belvédère Restaurant Entrance
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Domme City Sign
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Dordogne River Valley
Uncover Dordogne Valley's secrets at Domme, France! Explore a charming medieval village perched atop a cliff. Visit the prehistoric Domme Cave, marvel at panoramic views, and discover local markets & shops. Perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Cave of Domme

NOTE: The first image above of the two towers bracing the Domme Portal gate; The towers were used to imprison the Knights Templar between 1307 and 1318, evidence of which can still be seen in the 'graffiti' that they left behind, etched into the walls. Seven different tableaux were engraved by the templars, all related to religious iconography. A testament to their faith.

 
Prettiest Village Award

Domme has been selected as one of the "Most beautiful villages in the Dordogne Valley France". Click here to read more about Domme and other Dordogne Villages

Domme Coat of Arms
Domme Coat of ArmsImage is the property of Heraldry of the World
Plan Your Visit to the Village of Domme 

   How do I get to Domme, France?

You could consider driving, or taking a train;

  • By Train: The nearest train stations to Domme are Périgueux, Bergerac, Sarlat and Brive with Sarlat being the closest at 12.7 kilometers. You would have to obtain a short term auto rental, or take a taxi to Domme.
  • By Car: Follow routes D-46 and D-50 south from Sarlat to Domme.
  • By Bus tour: Either Viator or Get Your Guide may have bus tours that you can investigate.
  • Where is Domme Parking?: There are parking lots with paid parking (payant) in the village (free overnight up to 10am) and also overflow parking lots outside the village walls on the Eastern side of the village (payant). Here is a Google Search Results link for parking near Domme.
  • How do I obtain Domme Tickets?: Village entrance is free.
  • What are Domme's Hours?: Village Gates are always open.
  • Where are the Domme Nearby Restaurants?: Here is a Google Search Results link for restaurants in/near Domme. We had espresso and ice cream at Le Belvédère, great view of the valley below and everything we had was very good.
  • Where are the Domme Nearby Accommodations?: This is a small village (2015 population was 923) so there aren't many accommodations in the village itself. Here is a Google List link for accommodations near Domme, France.
More Info for the Village of Domme 

The first column below ("All Trip Destinations") lists all of our major trip destinations (for this trip) and the next four columns list each of our trip "basecamps" and then a list of what we explored from that basecamp. Each destination name is linked to it's page - so all you need to do is click that name.

 

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