Domme is a little larger than many of the bastide towns, and is found perched high above the Dordogne River, with wonderful views of the river and countryside. Unusually among the bastide towns, Domme retains part of its original fortified walls and the gateways into the town.
Perhaps the overly perfect restoration and over-commercialisation of the town reduces the feeling of authenticity that is found in, say, Monpazier. However a visit remains a 'must'.
There are also some very good caves accessed from the centre of Domme. The town is also listed as 'one of the most beautiful villages in France'
2nd opinion: My husband wrote the above and whilst he may be right that it is overly restored Domme is nonetheless one of my favourites. The stone is that lovely golden colour that is found in the Dordogne area (it is whiter where we are in Lot et Garonne) and it is perched above the river giving it lovely views. There are lots of beautiful houses making it a lovely village to walk around. Admittedly in the height of summer this is more difficult and shops full of tat open but outside the main season it is a treat.
Domme still has most of its ancient ramparts including three ancient gates, the best preserved is the Porte des Tours, flanked by two guard towers. These were converted into prisons in 1307 when the Knights Templars were arrested by the king. It is still possible to see the engraved crucifixes they carved whilst they were locked up her. The two other gates are Porte de la Combe and Port del Bos.
The caves, the Grottes de Domme, have been used in the past to shelter the town's inhabitants during the Hundred Years' War, though the upper part was only discovered in 1954. There are more than 400m of stalactite filled galleries and a glass lift takes you back up to the surface.
Domme Photo Gallery (click any photo to expand)
Map of Domme & places nearby
Castle Town village