Most of us Americans have heard of Bergerac thanks to the fictional character with the big nose, Cyrano, created by Edmond Rostand in 1897. Indeed, the town adopted this fictional character as their own and erected a statue to him. I suppose civic statues of fictional characters are not uncommon in human culture, but it still seems a bit crass to me.
We only spent the night in Bergerac and walked around town a bit in the evening and the next morning. It's very charming, and was very quiet when we were there. It might have been the Toussaint holiday or even a Sunday, which would explain the lack of activity.
The center of town has been restored into a nice pedestrian district filled with colombages, those medieval buildings with large timber structures showing in their façades. The city is built on the right bank of the Dordogne river and is home to about 26,000 Bergeracois.
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we headed west again. We passed through a small town whose churchyard cemetery was decked out with chrysanthemums as is the custom on All Saints Day. Our morning's destination had another literary connection : the château of Michel de Montaigne, one of France's most influential Renaissance writers.
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