Beaulieu sur Dordogne (Bél Luéc in occitan) is a village of the Correze department, in Limousin region. It is located on the bank of the Dordogne river. This medieval city is the starting point of numerous hikes during which the traveller will enjoy the delights of nature, heritage and gastronomy.
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By plane, flights are available from Paris to Brive-Laroche (40km from Beaulieu).
By train, the closest train stations are Bretenoux-Biars (6km from Beaulieu) and Brive la Gaillarde (40km from Beaulieu).
As for bus service, three lines head towards Beaulieu: line 17 (Beaulieu-Argentat), line 23 (Beaulieu-Brive) and line 16 (Beaulieu-Tulle).
Beaulieu is known to exist since the Middle Ages by the name of Vellinus, a small village where fishermen, winegrowers and cattle farmers were living. However, it is in the middle of the 9th century that Beaulieu was to grow; Rodolphe de Turenne, archbishop of Bourges, ordered the construction of a Benedictine abbey, whose walls are still standing today, and the city gained significant commercial, political, social and religious influence within the Vicomté de Turenne. Later, Beaulieu’s History fell in line with the one of many countryside villages: easy transition from the revolution to the imperial period, population growth at the beginning of the 19th century and then decline due to rural-urban migration.
The Saint Pierre Abbey-church is one of the main places of interest of the village since it was part of the Abbey built in the 9th century by Rodolphe de Turenne. This building, along with the chapter house, is the only relic of the Middle Ages period. The abbey preserved a few items from the numerous robberies such as “La Majeste de Beaulieu” which is a wooden sculpture covered with silver leaves of Mary and child.
“La Chapelle des Penitents” (Penitent chapel) was built at the end of the 12th century to welcome the people of Beaulieu since the Saint Pierre Abbey-Church was for monks and pilgrims only. It was ruined during the Cent Ans war and rebuilt in the 14th century. “La Confrerie des Penitents Bleus” (Blue Penitents Brotherhood) owned the chapel from the 17th to the end of the 19th century. They were dressed in blue robes and covered their head with a hood with only two holes for the eyes to prove they were all equal. They performed beautiful processions and had a great influence over the city.
Apart from the heritage of Beaulieu, there are a few grottos and castles that are worth seeing in the surrounding area: Gouffre de la Fage (40mn from Beaulieu), Gouffre de Padirac (30mn from Beaulieu), Grotte prehistorique des Merveilles (45mn from Beaulieu), Estresses, Turenne, Hautefort and Murol Castles.
As for sports, Beaulieu and its region offers canoeing, fishing, hiking, horse riding, cycle touring, tennis, golf and air activities.
Food and Drink
For almost 20 years, Beaulieu sur Dordogne has been organising La Fete de la Fraise (The Strawberry Day). Every year on this day, all the roads are closed to cars and the traveller can then enjoy the diverse activities and the market with its wide range of strawberries: guariguettes, cigalines or darselects… or can even have a bite to the giant strawberry pie made by the catering professionals of Beaulieu.
LES CHARMILLES is a traditional restaurant that offers typical French food. 20 boulevard Saint Rodolphe de Turenne 19120 Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Tel: 05.55.91.29.29
LA BAR DES VOYAGEURS cafe, bar, brasserie. 2 place du Champs de Mars 19120 Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Tel : 05.55.91.18.34
LE VELOUTE offers traditional French cuisine with good value for money. Rue de la Bridolle 19120 Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Tel: 05.55.91.14.51
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