Issigeac is an idyllic medieval town, notable for its unusual circular layout. It is brimming with architectural delights mainly dating from between the C13th-C16th, quaint streets, and has the most wonderful Sunday Market.
Entering the market in the early morning light
It is one of most colourful and vibrant French markets I have seen – similar to the one in Sarlat, but on a smaller scale. However, it did cover the centre of the town and several of the side streets, creating a lively and colourful atmosphere. The people were obviously mainly local, stopping to chat or have a coffee, and filling their bags with the abundant fresh produce and beautiful flowers.
We wandered the streets acquainting ourselves with what was on offer, finally buying some beautiful flowers to give to our hosts, plus cheese, bread and a delicious tarte toutiere (basically filo apple pie) which the vendor sprinkled liberally with armagnac! Divine!
The architecture of Issigeac is historic and there much to photograph. We managed to find the famed House of Heads, which dates from the C15th, and the Mushroom House, so called because of the overhang on the top storey.
For me the Late Gothic style church, L’Eglise Saint Felicien was a highlight, due to the lovely light filtering through the magnificent stained glass windows – they are truly astounding. Its foundations date back to the C11th, but it was destroyed in 1437 after the looting of the city and rebuilt in the C16th.
We left the village feeling that we had experienced something very special and noted a few unusal things along the drive home – this pink bike is pretty cool and was one of many left sitting under trees along the road side.
Our market purchases made for a very tasty lunch under the verandah. The toutiere was outstanding!
The rest of the day was devoted to enjoying time by the pool before we went up to the La Villa Franc-Daut for drinks with our hosts.
Mark and Kay are wonderful hosts and their home is exquisite. It was rather a privilege to see it – the decor is tasteful and stylish and quite dramatic in the dining room, yet it remains warm and welcoming. Post-drinks we had a simple dinner in the gite. It was the perfect ending to a lovely day.
Next post – Exploring close to home