Idyllic Issigeac …

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.

IMG_0543

Entering the market in the early morning light

Le Palais des Évêques de Sarlat – the Bishop’s Palace – note the elegant turret on the corner. It was built in the mid C17th.
IMG_0556
Colombage – aka Half timbers
IMG_0559
Half timbers in the sun
IMG_0586
Colombage
IMG_0604
Pretty lane
IMG_0606
Quaint!
IMG_0610
Glorious little street
IMG_0613
Fine colombage
IMG_0592
Really loved this colombage building
IMG_0626
Green shutters

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.

IMG_0587
One of many fresh vege stalls
IMG_0588
The garlic looks good
IMG_0595
Saucissons of every kind can be found here
IMG_0599
Not sure about duck saucisson …
IMG_0602
Strolling through the various side streets
IMG_0612
We didn’t buy but the olives looked divine
IMG_0614
Pretty shop frontage
IMG_0615
Floral display on the footpath and road

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!

IMG_0622
A riot of colour – we bought flowers here
IMG_0623
The brie from this stall was delish
IMG_0616
Pastries are available but they disappear so fast!
IMG_0554
Apple filo pie – sprinkled with armagnac and heated in the oven for 5 minutes – superb!
IMG_0637
Checking out the shopping options
IMG_0621
Phil orders coffees in a cafe screening the RWC game – note the bunting with the NZ flag above his  head

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.

IMG_0632
Maison des Têtes – if you look closely you can see the heads directy under the windowsill
IMG_0633
Maison des Têtes – four heads under the sill
Monsieur d’Issigeac perched on the corner Of La Maison Des Têtes – it is said to be some kind of animal
IMG_0642
The Mushroom House (for the obvious reason)
IMG_0674
Loved this tiny street
IMG_0671
Pussy cat has a nice spot
IMG_0670
Blue shutters as well as the green – heavenly
IMG_0640
Charming door
IMG_0675
Can’t get enough of this place
IMG_0677
Bird nesting in the light

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.

IMG_0549
Saint-Felicien as you enter the village
IMG_0917
Filtered light
IMG_0691
The altar is simple
IMG_0694
The stained glass in Saint Felicien is incredible
IMG_0692
My favourite stained glass piece of any seen on this trip
IMG_0688
Three beautiful windows

IMG_0684

IMG_0683
One of the large multi-coloured wooden statues  in the church – classified as historic monuments like the church itself. 

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.

IMG_0717IMG_0719

Our market purchases made for a very tasty lunch under the verandah. The toutiere was outstanding!

IMG_0745

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.

IMG_0744
Devouring the market purchases
IMG_0747
Pool time
IMG_0750
Ready to visit the lovely Chateau

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s