Narrow cobblestone laneways, medieval buildings and a church, find it all at Issigeac Farmers Market in the Dordogne in south west France.

This small circular medieval village dates back to back to the fourth century and is filled with beautiful stone houses with wooden 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.

Just walking the streets here is an experience but let’s add in a market filled with fresh local produce and wares.

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.

Origins in the 4th century

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.

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 attractive 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.

Who lived where?

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.


Eat, drink and be Kerry travelled to Europe in the luxury of Cathay Pacific’s Business Class which made the long journey so much more comfortable.