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Périgord

Périgord (pārēgôrˈ) [key], region of SW France, now included in Dordogne and parts of Lot-et-Garonne depts. Périgueux (the capital) and Bergerac are the chief cities. The region consists of low, arid limestone plateaus, the deep and fertile valleys of the Lot and Dordogne rivers, and extensive oak forests. Périgord is noted for its truffles and goose livers, which are its major exports. Its farms produce wheat, corn, and tobacco, and raise livestock. The traditional metallurgical industry is concentrated at Fumel. Near Madeleine and Moustier are numerous cave dwellings from the Paleolithic period. Occupied during Gallic and Roman eras by the Petrocorii, Périgord became a county under the Merovingians (9th cent). First enfeoffed to the dukes of Aquitaine, it later passed to England, was returned to France c.1370 as a fief of the French crown, and passed eventually, through a complicated succession, to the house of Bourbon (1574). It was inherited by Henry of Navarre and, after he became king of France as Henry IV (1589), was incorporated (1607) into the royal domain as part of the province of Guienne.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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