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Dordogne (Department, France)

Last modified: 2024-03-23 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: dordogne | p&ecute;rigord |
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Flag of Dordogne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 8 March 2019

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Administrative data

Code: 24
Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Aquitaine until 2014)
Traditional provinces: Guyenne and Gascony
Bordering departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Gironde, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Haute-Vienne

Area: 9,060 km2
Population (2016): 414,789 inhabitants

Préfecture: Périgueux
Sous-préfectures: Bergerac, Nontron, Sarlat-la-Canéda
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 25 cantons, 505 municipalities.

The department is named after river Dordogne (472 km), a tributary to the Garonne.

Ivan Sache, 11 April 2019

Flag of Dordogne

The flag used by the Departmental Council (photo) is white with the logo adopted in 2015. The logo includes the word "Périgord", the famous natural region corresponding to the department's territory, and the website URL The new majority in the Departmental Council had in 2015 the project to have the department renamed to Dordogne-Périgord.
The General Council, and, after 2015, the Departemental Council has changed several times its logo, always with the same graphic basis showing a stylized human outline, which may recall the prehistorical parietal wall paintings of Lascaux. Lascaux, a famous complex of caves near the village of Montignac has over 600 parietal wall paintings covering the interior walls and ceilings of the cave.

Olivier Touzeau, 8 March 2019



Flag of Périgord - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 8 March 2019

Périgord is a natural region and former French province, which corresponds roughly to the current depoartment of Dordogne It is divided into four areas called Périgord Noir (Black), Périgord Blanc (White), Périgord Vert (Green), and Périgord Pourpre (Purple).

Périgord emerged as a county under Charlemagne. The county was the base of territorial divisions made to delimit a pagus, whose civil administration was entrusted to a Count appointed by the Emperor. This vassal had delegation of power to administer a city and all the pagi that related to it. The first of them named by Charlemagne for Périgord was Wildbadius, in 778. The action and the successors of this first governor of Périgord are unknown.
Périgord was one of the main battlegrounds of the Hundred Years' War fought between the French and English in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1360, Périgord passed under English sovereignty by the Treaty of Br&ecute;tigny. Charles of Orléans, Count of Périgord was captured at the end of the battle of Agincourt, in 1415. He remained a prisoner in England until 1440. On 14 December 1430, Charles of Orleéns swapped with his natural brother John, bastard of Orleéns and future Count of Dunois, the County of Périgord for the County of Porcien. The donation, however, was perhaps fictitious. Finally, on 4 March 1438, in order to pay his ransom, Charles of Orleén sold the county to John of Châtillon, said John de L'Aigle, son of John I de Châtillon, lord of Laigle, count of Penthièvre, Viscount of Limoges, for 16,000 real gold and 10,000 guilders, which were due by the late Louis of Orleéns to oliver of Clisson, of which John of Brittany was heir.
In 1454, Périgord returned to William of Châtillon-Blois, brother of John of Brittany. In 1455, on the death of William, the county returned to his eldest daughter, Françoise, who brought the county's dowry in 1470 when she married Alan, lord of Albret. The county was ruled by Henry II of Navarre and Albret, husband in 1526 of Margaret of Alençon, sister of King Francis I. At his death in 1555, the county of Périgord returned to Joan of Albret, wife of Anton of Bourbon, descendant of the Capetian kings. On Joan's death in 1572, the county passed to her son, Henry III of Navarre, who became king of France, as Henry IV, on the death of Henry III in 1589. In 1584, Henry of Navarre gave up his rights on Périgord to his sister, Catherine of Bourbon, who died childless in 1604. By the Edict of July 1607, Périgord was definitively united to the crown and incorporated to the province of Guyenne.

The banner of arms of Périgord, "Gules three lions rampant or armed langued and crowned azure", was assigned to the depoartment of Dordogne by Jacques Meurgey de Tupigny & Robert Louis in Marques symboliques des départements français. The flag is sometimes seen in Dordogne, but has no official status.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 8 March 2019