When I think of Sarlat, I think of…


  • History
  • Medieval and Renaissance architecture
  • Churches
  • Cathedral
  • Fairytale turrets
  • Towers
  • Slate roofs
  • Manoirs
  • Mullion windows
  • Cobbled lanes
  • Pretty courtyards
  • Picturesque squares
  • Golden stone
  • Half-timbered buildings
  • Pavement cafés
  • Quaint restaurants
  • Saturday market
  • Street entertainment
  • Geese
  • Ducks
  • Foie gras
  • Truffles
  • Walnuts
  • Salade de gésiers
  • Pommes Sarladaises
  • Duck fat

Situated in the Périgord Noir region of the Dordogne, Sarlat has all of these so it’s no wonder that it is one of the most visited towns in the Dordogne. It is a very well-preserved town and a favourite location for many film makers.

Maison de La Boétie

One of the most impressive and famous buildings in Sarlat is La Maison de La Boétie.

The façade of the building is extremely ornate and a work of Renaissance architecture with an Italian influence. Its many features include mullion windows, pillars, dormer windows, high chimneys, carved gables and slate roofs.

Étienne de la Boétie, one of the great philosophers and writers of his time, was born in the house in 1530 to a Bourgeois family. He was a brilliant student at university and later on became an advisor in Bordeaux’s parliament. His famous work entitled “Discours sur la servitude volontaire” wasn’t published until after his death, by the Protestants. Étienne was also a great poet dedicating one of his poems to the river Dordogne, “Je voy bien, ma Dourdouigne, encore humble tu vas”.

In 1558 he met Michel de Montaigne*, who was three years younger than him and another great thinker of the time, as well as a writer. The two became great friends and when Étienne died at the young age of 33, he left all his books and precious manuscripts to his dear friend.

  • The Château de Montaigne is at Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne in the Dordogne. The author’s library is located in the dungeon of the castle.