In the heart of
the middle Dordogne valley, the town of Mauzac and
Grand-Castang, whose rich past is linked with the river,
welcomes you by presenting its history.
- Prehistoric era: Less than 35 000 years ago, the caves at
Roquebecude and Roquegrosse (Cingle de Trémolat Mauzac)
sheltered powerful CRO-MAGNON men who left hewn flint, lance
points, and bone harpoons on the commune’s land.
- 5th century: The cave or rock shelter the Mariotte, a
lookout post carved in the rock, kept a watch over the
Dordogne River, which was the only way inland toward the
upcountry. The first invaders were the Francs.
- 9th century: Invasion by the Normands, who plundered and set
fire to Paunat Abbey (847).
13th century: The parishes of Mauzac and Saint Meyme were
under the jurisdiction of the Millac seigniory in our commune,
stronghold serving the BORDEAUX archdiocese.
centuries: The Dordogne River became an important commercial and
cultural route. 10 to 20-ton argentats (boats) and 30 to 50-ton
gabares (traditional flat-bottom boats) transported merchandise
by water during six or seven months per year: wood for casks,
baskets, cheese, wine, and also metal products from the Vézère
Foundry (cannons and cannonballs), which were delivered to the
BORDEAUX navy. Salt, spices, and sugar were towed upstream to
the high country.
- 1838-1843: The
significant dangers and many shipwrecks in the rapids at
Gratusse and Pesqueyroux called for the construction of the
first dam and a side canal from Mauzac to Tuilières (15 km 375m
long, 9 locks and 3 parking ponds)
- 1858: In the port of Mauzac, the boat master, DESQUEYRAT, had
three 17- ton argentats and a 75-ton coureau (a type of gabare
used on the middle and lower Dordogne River). In 1848, the
Navigation bureau at LIMEUIL counted 325 boats per year. In
1897, only 65.