Narrow cobblestone laneways, medieval buildings, a church and a Sunday market, find it all at Issigeac in south west France.

This small circular medieval village dates back to back to the fourth century. It is filled with beautiful stone houses with wood sides and a Gallo-Roman villa.

The medieval half-timber style houses circle the church and the 17th century Bishop’s Palace. Most of the houses are original and the village still has its 13th century walls.

Issigeac Sunday Market

Visit this village of artists and craftsmen and you will find pottery, painting, sculpture, stained glass, basketry and blown glass. On Sunday the streets fill with market stalls selling fresh local produce.

Here is some of what I saw.

It all started in the 4th century when Issigeac was a gallo-roman villa. In the 6th century it became a monastery and the in the 7th century a Benedictine Abbey was established under the protection of nearby Sarlat.

The village contains a classical French Bishop’s Castle constructed on medieval fortifications, but the charm of the village rests firmly with its timber framed houses. These stone and wood houses show the carpenter’s skill and use vertical and angled wooden beams, all assembled on the ground beforehand. The spaces between are filled with straw, stones and bricks and plastered over.

Half-timber framed houses

The village contains a classical French Bishop’s Castle constructed on medieval fortifications, but the charm of the village rests firmly with its timber framed houses. These stone and wood houses show the carpenter’s skill and use vertical and angled wooden beams, all assembled on the ground beforehand. The spaces between are filled with straw, stones and bricks and plastered over.

Look for gothic arches and basket handle arches on the houses connected to the ramparts. This was where the notable people lived.

The Mushroom House is another building you’ll notice in the village. This small, original house has wooden corbelling to allow for the passage of carts.

Where is Issigeac?

It is located in the Périgord, about 20 km southwest of Bergerac in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, southwest France in an area known as the Dordogne.

This is wine country, close to the famous Chateau de Monbazillac, which is known for its sweet dessert wines.