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The « Bragéra » Gate, known as the Romanesque Gateway


The Dordogne River forms Lalinde’s natural southern border; the area’s land formation is made up of flat open countryside to the south and, to the north, hills and plateaux which shelter many prehistoric remains.
Lalinde is situated on the tourist Bergerac-Sarlat trail and is unusual in being composed of four villages, four former parishes :
• Sainte Colombe to the north, a medieval country village dominated by its Romanesque church whose foundations date from the 11th century and its magnificent, late 15th-century château.


• Sauveboeuf to the east, and its châteaux, including Château Larue which is listed as an Historical Monument.
• And finally, Port St Couze to the west, with its traditional paper industry, industrial zone and old paper mills.

Today the village counts 2936 inhabitants (official population on January 1, 2017).

La Linde was originally a fishing village which, with the presence of the English in Aquitaine during the 13th century, became a royal bastide; its existence is due to Prince Edward, oldest son of Henry III Plantagenet and governor of Guyenne. A solemn charter dated 26 June 1267 accords future residents land on which to build their houses, and privileges and franchises giving them permission to govern themselves via an elected Counsel. (1)
The king’s seneschal, Jean de Grailly, oversaw the construction of the bastide, completed in 1267, with its four roads running at right angles to the central, quadrangular market place. A Romanesque church already stood to the south-east in the spot now occupied by St Pierre’s Church which was consecrated in 1901.

(1) By the 15th century when Aquitaine had become French once again, the Kings of France twice ratified the charter - in 1516 and 1614.

By 1340, La Linde, bordered by the impregnable Dordogne River and enclosed within fortified town walls had become a strategically important military site; it suffered various sieges during the Hundred Years War and again in 1562 and 1572 during the Wars of Religion. In 1839-1840 its protective moats and ditches were filled in with waste material from the canal construction (1836-1841) and the town grew northwards and, in particular, westwards outside the town walls which finally disappeared between 1792 and 1824.

The train station was built in 1877 and the bridge over the Dordogne River in 1880. Lalinde was, in the Middle Ages, one of the first towns to be freely governed and, throughout the ages its inhabitants have always fought for freedom. In 1944 the local Resistance paid a heavy price when on the dark day of 21 June many of Lalinde’s sons perished in the tragic Mouleydier massacre.

La Linde’s most interesting historical features include :
The original town plan of regular, right-angled roads encircling the market place.
Part of the fortified town walls rising up from the river.
Other remains :
• The oldest part of La Linde is definitely the square tower incorporated into the town walls, which still has two turrets (now the Château Hotel-Restaurant).
• Two of the eight gateways to the bastide : to the west, the « Bragéra » (Bergerac) Gate, wrongly referred to as the Romanesque Gateway; to the right of the bridge, near the church, the « Marti » gate which is bricked up but which one can easily imagine leading directly from the port straight into the bastide and the Counsel House (now the Socio-Medical centre) square.

• In the corner of the market place stands a stone cross erected in 1351 in memory of the Jubilee under Pope Clement VI which drew more than a million pilgrims to Rome.
• In the Rue des Deportés (the deportees) which used to be called the Rue de Sainte Colombe, facing the square is the Governor’s House (14th century) which was renovated in 1995 following a fire.
• Rue Gabriel Péri, formerly the Rue St Catherine, has several bastide houses, including one which has been particularly finely restored.

The large tract of communal land also housed two parishes which do not form part of Lalinde : Drayaux to the east, which gave rise to the village of Sauvebeouf, and St Colombe to the north, where a hamlet of the same name boasts a 12th century church listed on the Inventory of Historical Monuments.

Text translated by Pays du Grand Bergeracois (professional translator).