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Terrasson travel guide

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Visit Terrasson (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Terrasson is a town in the north of the Dordogne department to the west of Brive-la-Gaillarde. Note: the 'real' name of the town is Terrasson-Lavilledieu, the two communes with those names having merged in 1963.

It is a small traditional town that is also well known for its award winning gardens, while the surounding region is famous for its truffles and walnuts.

Explore Terrasson

The town is dominated by the large church that stands on the hill at the top of the village, while the slowly moving Vézère River runs past the lower part of Terrasson. The river is traversed here by two bridges: a 15th century old stone bridge called 'Vieux Pont' and the 19th century Pont Neuf.

Pont Vieux in Terrasson

Terrasson is also known for the blue slate roofs seen on many of the buildings and unusual in most of the Dordogne region. The town is worthy of exploration, especially for the 'old bridge' and the abbey, and the attractive setting.

The town is divided by the river Vezere and has the newer part and market place on one side and the old town on the other. Once you have crossed the bridge towards the old town you can head uphill and towards the right to reach the 'Jardins de l'Imaginaire' from where you get excellent views of the town below as well as some great gardens.

These stylish, contemporary gardens overlook the town and have some particularly excellent water features. They are one of the reasons why people visit Terrason.

Covering six hectares of hillside overlooking the village, the 'jardins de l'Imaginaire' are a series of terraces that have numerous features where contemporary art and water features are successfully integrated in the environment. They are listed as one of France's official 'Jardins remarquables' ('remarkable gardens').

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Heading uphill and to the left leads you into the old town. Continuing upwards you always have the striking abbey ahead of you as the path climbs quite steeply towards it.

Half way up the hill is the Place Bouquier, the highlight of Terrasson old town. It has beautiful buildings surrounding it including most notably the Maison Bouquier. There is a gardened terrace with the abbey above and the paved square has a coat of arms set into it.

The Rue de la Marzelle just off the Place Bouquier has one of Terrasson's most unusual buildings, a half-timbered building supported in one corner by a tall stone pillar.

Climb on up to the church and you get some amazing views looking down onto the square below. The Church of Saint-Sour dates from the 11th century although it has undergone various renovations. The current building is Gothic in style and has attractive stained glass windows and the relics of Saint Sour.

Below the church and slightly hard to spot is one ot the twelve cluzeaux that are in Terrasson. These are caves cut into the rock thought to be shelters and each one has a water source. Two of them are open to the public. Take a look at the building below the church with a large mural painting of a cluzeau and one of them is very near here.

Also below the church are the ramparts and cliffs below the town. Following along the ramparts to the west leads to another good viewpoint over the river.

Terrasson Market day is Thursday. The market takes place next to the river and during peak season extends across to the other side of the bridge making a very charming picture.

Terrasson

Attractions nearby

Among the most popular attractions nearby are two that are very famous and will be highlights of your visit to this part of France: to the north is the Chateau de Hautefort and to the south-west you can visit the Lascaux caves with their cave paintings.

There is lovely scenery in all directions, with the prehistoric settlements along the Vézère valley especially popular with visitors.

You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Terrasson

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  • billetterie-jardin
  • cluzeau
  • colombage-house
  • fountain
  • painted-house
  • place-bouquier
  • place-bouquier1
  • place-de-la-genouillac
  • pont-vieux
  • river-edge
  • river-vezere
  • rue-margontier
  • sarcophage
  • town-hall
  • view-terrasson
  • view

Map of Terrasson and places nearby

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Visit near Terrasson with France This Way reviews

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

The Jardins de l'Imaginaire is a lovely contemporary garden in the Dordogne town of Terrasson.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire guide
Saint-Amand-de-Coly

Saint-Amand-de-Coly

The village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly is one of the prettiest in the Dordogne, and also well placed s a base if you are exploring the region

Saint-Amand-de-Coly guide
Montignac

Montignac

Best known for being close to Lascaux caves, the small town of Montignac is also very attractive

Montignac guide
Lascaux caves

Lascaux caves

The Lascaux Caves are famous worldwide because of the large number of prehistoric cave paintings to be seen

Lascaux caves guide
Les Jardins de Colette

Les Jardins de Colette

The Jardins de Colette is a garden which represents the life of Colette in a series of gardens.

Les Jardins de Colette guide
Badefols d'Ans

Badefols d'Ans

Badefols d'Ans is a small village around a castle and church

Badefols d'Ans guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Dordogne

Address: Terrasson-Lavilledieu, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, 24120, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.13, longitude 1.3019

Plan your visit to Terrasson, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins de l'Imaginaire: remarkable garden
  • Saint-Amand-de-Coly: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Abbaye de Saint Amand de Coly (Saint-Amand-de-Coly): religious monument (9 km)
  • Vezere Valley: heritage site (13 km)
  • Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac: remarkable garden (17 km)
  • Gouffre de la Fage: site of natural beauty (18 km)
  • Jardins du château de Losse: remarkable garden (18 km)
  • Jardins du château de Hautefort: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Donzenac: village d'etape (21 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Léonce (Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere): religious monument (21 km)
  • Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere: most beautiful village (21 km)
  • Turenne: most beautiful village (24 km)

Market days in Terrasson, France

Regular market(s) are held in Terrasson each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Terrasson (Francais)

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