The « Bragéra » Gate, known
as the Romanesque Gateway
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
Lalinde is situated on the tourist Bergerac-Sarlat trail and
is unusual in being composed of four villages, four former
• 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
• 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
3015 inhabitants (official population on January 1, 2014).
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
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
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
• 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
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.