Visit Donzenac (Limousin, France)
Located in the Correze department, the town of Donzenac has 2310 inhabitants and is at 10 kilometres from Brive-la-Gaillarde, in the Limousin region of southern France.
The region is valleyed, interspersed with steep escarpments, which for us contributes greatly to its beauty. It is also very verdant, and interspersed with numerous streams and small rivers – much appreciated by the many trout fishers in the region.
We arrived at Donzenac at the beginning of August, when the town was holding its annual two-day medieval festival – a true journey back in time, with the streets filled with entertainers, jugglers, dancers, and various other spectacles, and people wearing traditional medieval costumes. There were also storytellers, minstrels, and demonstrations of traditional trades and crafts, and the chance for children to participate in various activities. The medieval festival ended with a traditional feast.
In Donzenac, as in much of the region, the roofs of the houses have a peculiarity – they are in blue-grey slate, rather than the red clay tiles that are more usual in the southern half of France. The slate for these tiles is quarried, as it has been for 300 years, in the neighbouring hamlet of Travassac.
The quarry can be visited – the enormous rocks (known as the Pans de Travassac) create an interesting a fascinating landscape, with crevasses up to 100 metres deep. Your exploration will take you across suspended footbridges and up staircases carved into the rock. There is also a small exhibition and museum showing the history and techniques used in a slate quarry.
For those who enjoy nature and walking in the countryside there are numerous marked pathways in the vicinity, in the beautiful Valley of Maumont – a guide is available (small charge payable) in Donzenac.
Donzenac town itself is not very large, and it is best explored on foot. You can follow the walk around the ramparts. The town contains all the local businesses – butchers, small supermarket, bakers and restaurants serving the traditional cuisine of the Corrèze. Those who enjoy confit de canard will be especially at home!
Walking peacefully through the narrow streets of Donzenac, lined with ancient houses – some in colombage – one always finishes at the Grand Place. The medieval festival is now finished, but when we hear the far off sound of a tambourine, we start to wonder - is it a trick of the ear, or some phantom of the past, still lurking in the quiet evening at Donzenac…?
Eau de Noix
There is also a drink that is local to the area around Donzenac – ‘eau de noix’, made using a recipe handed down from generation to generation. As a base the recipe uses walnuts that are still green and in their shells, eau de vie, wine and sugar – our friends offered us some to try and it was delicious! Even better it apparently has medicinal qualities…
(This is a guest article for france this way.)
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Donzenac
Donzenac is classified as a recommended place to break a long journey (village d'etape)
Address: Donzenac, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Correze, Limousin, 19270 || GPS: latitude 45.2281, longitude 1.525
Map of Donzenac & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Donzenac, France
- Gouffre de la Fage - site of natural beauty (14km)
- Turenne - most beautiful village (20km)
- Jardins de l'Imaginaire - remarkable garden (21km)
- Collonges-la-Rouge - most beautiful village (21km)
- Uzerche - village d'etape (22km)
- Segur-le-Chateau - most beautiful village (28km)
- Saint-Amand-de-Coly - most beautiful village (28km)
- Abbaye de Saint Amand de Coly (Saint-Amand-de-Coly) - religious monument (28km)
- Jardins du château de Hautefort - remarkable garden (30km)
- Curemonte - most beautiful village (31km)
The French version of this page is at Donzenac (Francais)