Friday, May 22, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - La Roque St. Christophe and Rouffignac cave

La Roque St Christophe was a 9th century fortified town built in caves that had been used by prehistoric people. It was well-protected as there was only one gate into the town that was built into the cliff-face. It was used to prevent the Vikings & Normans from going farther upstream past the fort.  Fortresses like this were built on 5 different tributary rivers on the Dordogne to protect people upstream. They developed a communication system of points along the cliffs to warn of coming Viking raids.

Dave and Dennis at the "barn" where animals were kept especially in times of war

In the middle ages, a troglodytic city developed along 5 levels of caves which could house about 1000 residents.  Connected by staircases, these houses were built by digging deeper into the cliff face and extending the dwellings with wood onto the ledges of the cliff.  All services, including a church, could be found in this city.

Hoists made for hauling supplies up into the fort/town

View of the Vézere valley from the caves

medieval troglodytic kitchen

reconstruction to show what the medieval city would have looked like when built out with walls

Karen and Nancy stand in front of a rainwater catch pond in the cave system

Model of what the city would have looked like

Another view of the river valley from the village

Since I didn't go with, these photos are from Dave and Nancy's cameras.

After lunch at the woodsy park of Rouffignac cave, the 4 travelers toured the cave

Dave, Karen and Dennis at lunch at Rouffignac's picnic area

Entrance to Rouffignac cave

Then back to La Borie for aperos.  There's so much variety of history and scenery in this area. It seems we're only scratching the surface.

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