Thenon is a charming village located on a rounded hillock at an altitude of 258 metres; a privileged position that makes the most of its natural environment. It has a lovely farmers market every Tuesday and sports are played everyday.
Thenon is situated at the entrance to the Vézère Valley and the Auvézère in the Perigord Noir of the Dordogne (Aquitaine). Bergerac airport is the nearest airport and can be reached in 75mins, Limoges airport in 1h40.
Mention of the parish of Thenon can be found as early as 1185; however development really began during Gallo-Roman times. The name of the village then changed several times, one example being ‘Teno,’ until eventually ‘Thenon’ was chosen by the famous troubadour: Bertrand de Born and thus remained.
From the C12th Thenon suffered invasions of a grand scale and consequently built a ‘castrum’ as part of its defence tactics. This involved a number of ditches to the west. The castle walls were also very thick, serving to protect the local population seeking refuge during the Hundred Years’ War. At one point the English seized and burned the castle, however a square tower near the church still stands today, having been reconstructed several times.
The manor of Thenon first belonged to the La Faye family then was passed onto the powerful Hautefort family. Links between the 2 families were reinforced by marriages such as that of Aymard de Faye (the son of Adhémar, the Lord of Thenon) and Marguerite de Born (the granddaughter of the troubadour).
As well as a having a history of invasion and lordship, Thenon is also linked to the prehistoric finds in the area. The nearby Vézère Valley is now famous for its Lascaux caves as well as having numerous other traces of prehistoric and early settlement. According to UNESCO, which has called it a World Heritage site, it has 147 prehistoric sites and 25 painted caves created 17,000 to 15,000 years ago by Cro-Magnon artists. Mudslides blocked the caves for centuries and so they were perfectly preserved until the modern era.
L’Appel de la Fôret, the largest obstacle course in the Dordogne, is situated in the magnificent Perigourdine forest near Thenon. A wonderful activity for all the family, it has 10 progressive courses with more than 110 activities (rope bridges, Tarzan jumps, pulleys etc). La Guinguette de l’étang meanwhile, involves water activities on the fishing lake with canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. And swimming, tennis, football and hiking are all catered for.
Sights to see are: the Château de l’Herm and Château de Lossee, both built in the C15th, the latter of which is well known for its excellent furniture and tapestries, Château de Hautefort, a medieval fortress, Jardin de l’Imaginaire, which has 13 themed gardens and La Roque St Christophe, a huge Troglodyte cave complex set in a majestic cliff that was inhabited from the Upper Paleolithic cave onwards.
Food and Drink
The Perigord Noir is well-known for the authenticity of its farm products. In particular there are: foie gras (fattened goose of duck liver) and other products derived from fattened ducks and geese (duck breast, preserves, pâtés, sausages etc), walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and their derived products (walnut wine, chestnut wine, walnut and hazelnut oil, walnut mustard), truffles, strawberries, asparagus, flap mushrooms and ‘cabecou’ (local sheep’s cheese). Examples of some recipes are: duck stew, scallop of fattened duck liver and Reinette apples, flaming duck hearts in Cognac and country style duck carcass. Popular wine mainly comes from the Bergerac vineyards which produce 75% of the Dordogne’s production.
Hôtel Chez Maria, 10 Avenue Libération, 24210 Thenon, tel no : 05 53 05 26 85, has good French cuisine
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Aquitaine. We have a large network of agents in Aquitaine. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Aquitaine matching your requirements. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Thenon.