If you fancy a change from castles, the Dordogne’s famous Tuilières hydro-electric dam and fish lift, on the road between Bergerac and Lalinde, makes for an interesting visit.

The dam was built between 1905 and 1908 and is 19,30 metres high and 105 metres long. It is a hydro-electric centre producing electricity for Bergerac, Périgueux and further afield outside of the department of the Dordogne. The centre also has a fish lift designed to help migrating fish navigate to the upper reaches of the river Dordogne.

A visit to the dam is well worth it. It’s informative and something a bit different. You also get close up to the fish lift. The site is open from 3 July until the 31 August from 9 am – midday and 2-6 pm. Free visit. Guided visit by appointment only. No access during guided visits. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Please consult the Bergerac tourist office for the most up-to-date information as this can change at short notice.

Wow! On the 12th June 2023, the dam produced 5, 975 920 kWh of electricity which is the equivalent domestic consumption of 832,000 inhabitants

Mauzac dam and fish ladder

There is another dam further up river at Mauzac that has a fish ladder. Mauzac also has a sailing club.

If you visit the EDF site at Saint Capraise de Lalinde, don’t miss the lock ladder on the canal just by the carpark. The canal stretches from Mauzac to Lalinde and was built between 1838 and 1843 to make navigation along that stretch of the river easier as there are numerous obstacles, such as rapids. This was at a time when cargo was taken down river to Bergerac and on to Bordeaux.