Saint Barthélémy de Bellegarde

In the west of the Dordogne department, the commune of Saint-Barthélemy de Bellegarde (about 500 inhabitants) is located in the Forêt de la Double. Its territory, dotted with numerous ponds and crossed by the “Duche” river, is largely forested.

Indeed, the forest has always covered most of the territory. The high deciduous forests disappeared in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were replaced by various coppices of hornbeam, oak, alder and chestnut. Sometimes, the trees are missing and the gorse and heather moor that we call “brandes”, occupies the space. For more than a century, the major part of the Doublaude forest has been dedicated to the maritime pine.

The soil is made of tertiary sands and clays and is similar to the Sologne. Often, the clay layers form a kind of concave lens from which water cannot easily drain away: these are called “mouillères”. In some places, where the concentration of iron oxides is important, the soil takes on a more or less reddish colour.

At the crossroads of the departmental roads 12, 40 and 708, the village of Saint-Barthélemy de Bellegarde is located on a hill.

Along some of the paths, you can see the typical houses of La Double, made of wood and cob, a mixture of fat earth, straw or rushes, or even “palenes”, which are large woodland grasses. Another element of the architecture of La Double is the “balet”, a gallery that runs the length of the house, supported by columns and wooden arches.


  • 24700 Saint Barthélémy de Bellegarde Saint Barthélémy de Bellegarde
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