Montpon-Ménestérol is a charming town of 5 500 inhabitants, crossed by the D 2089 (former RN 89) from Bordeaux to Lyon and served by the A89 freeway and the railway line from Bordeaux to Périgueux. It is an active city in the White Périgord, in the beautiful Vallée de l’Isle, where the meandering Isle River, a river full of fish, is a favourite of fishermen and people looking for peace and quiet. Montpon-Ménestérol has many sports facilities: stadium, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, as well as a leisure centre. Throughout the summer, many events are offered. Montpon-Ménestérol is also the starting point for walks and hikes in the nearby Forêt de la Double, covered with pines and oaks, dotted with ponds and its half-timbered houses. A town with many associations, a meeting place, artistic and musical, it is known as the “capital of the organ in Aquitaine”.
When you walk through the city, don’t miss to admire the flower boxes and pots: Montpon-Ménestérol is a “3 flowers” city.
The geographical situation of Montpon-Ménestérol makes it an atypical city: indeed, you are still in Périgord and close to the Gironde and its prestigious vineyards. You are also close to the Forêt de la Double, which with its green spaces and its ponds will make you discover nature while practicing hiking. The peaceful river Isle offers many ideal places for fishing, canoeing or even going for a ride in an electric or pedal boat.
You are in the country of gastronomy: you can visit different producers to enjoy local products.
The vineyards of Bergerac and the Saint-Emilion appellation are 30 minutes away. With the A89 motorway, discover the Bordeaux region and the Atlantic coast in 1 hour. The city of Montpon-Ménestérol benefits from a temperate climate which makes it a pleasant place to live in all seasons: Montpon-Ménestérol has the assets of a small town in the countryside…
The relief of the territory of Montpon-Ménestérol is largely marked by its hydrography. It is during the quaternary era that the Isle River was born and has since carved out its valley.
The city centre of Montpon as well as Ménestérol, located along the river, are relatively flat. Then, moving away from the river to the north and to the south, we enter a zone of hillsides delimiting the watersheds of the Isle. The relief is therefore locally more marked, going from very low altitudes to altitudes that can exceed 100 m as is the case in the south of the commune.
Ménestérol was formerly an independent commune, united with Montignac. The 3 communes were grouped together in 1964 to form a single commune: Montpon-Ménestérol-Montignac.
Montpon-Ménestérol is also… THE CAPITAL OF THE ORGAN IN AQUITAINE!
The organ heritage of Montpon-Ménestérol is of an undeniable and unique richness. It is composed of 10 instruments whose patrimonial and musical value is the fruit of a recent recognition, due essentially to the passion of Francis Chapelet, international concert performer, native of Montpon. 4 organs are present in the 2 churches (Montpon and Ménestérol), and the 2 chapels (Montignac and Vauclaire) and 6 in the private Auditorium of Francis Chapelet.
The church of Montpon was equipped in 1842 with a rather modest instrument (1 keyboard with 7 stops).
In the 1960’s, under the impulse of Francis Chapelet, the organ was redesigned and especially enlarged so that it could perform its function with dignity, both for the liturgy and during concerts.
The church of Ménestérol will be equipped with an organ in 1980, partly recovered from the temple of Colmar. In addition, Francis Chapelet had an auditorium built on his family property, where he had three very original instruments installed.
In 2009, a second Italian organ will enrich the collection in his personal residence and in 2010, the small Chapelle de Montignac will receive a new organ from the organ builder Didier Chanon. In early 2012, a third Italian organ will arrive in Francis Chapelet’s house. Dating from 1660, it is one of the oldest instruments in France.
Since September 2012, the 10th organ has arrived in the private chapel of the Vauclaire Hospital (former Chartreuse).
The Association des Concerts Spirituels proposes every year concerts in the different Chapels and Churches as well as guided tours in summer.
Two hiking trails allow you to discover the beautiful paths between the river and the forest: La Boucle des Duches (9 km) and the loop from the stream to the river (14 km).
A circuit “Coeur de Ville”, not marked out, makes it possible to discover the city and its assets: click here to have the plan.