The communal bread oven at Urval in the Périgord Noir is a reminder of the old days when villagers had to bake all their bread together. The oven would have been owned by the local lord and the inhabitants had to pay to use it.

The oven is classified a monument historique and dates back to the fourteenth century.

On the right of the photo is a wooden pigeonnier, on the left are the shelves where the loaves are placed to cool down. You can see the long wooden spatulas used for putting the bread far into the oven an bringing them out again and the little door where the baker would have stayed in the building too.

The village of Urval, near Siorac-en-Périgord is surrounded by woodland and features a handful of pretty stone cottages and a small church. Today, the oven is fired up during the annual village fête. Not far away is Belvès, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France and also worth a visit.

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Belvès in the Périgord Noir