The existence of Port St Foy on the right bank of the Dordogne River
is directly linked to the 13th century bastide of the Agenais St Foy
founded in 1255 by Alphonse du Poitiers, brother of King Louis (St
Port St Foy - St Foy La Grande’s deep water port - is a small
fishing village dominated by river and wine related trades. It
became the commune of Port Sainte Foy with the merger of the three
parishes of Canet, Tizac and La Rouquette and, more recently, Port
Sainte Foy et Ponchapt when Ponchapt was added in 1960.
The life and activities of the commune have been based around the
river since the dawn of time as prehistoric finds and Canet’s
amazing Gallo-Roman mosaics make clear.
The village’s economic peak was
reached with the golden age of river transport when the quayside
bustled and thrived and street stalls lined the « Rivière
Espérance » (the ‘River Hope’ of Christian Signol’s novel of the
same name). Oak and chestnut felled upstream, and casks of wine
left Port St Foy ocean bound.
With the arrival of the railroad, followed by the development of a
road network and finally the development of mass distribution
methods, farming, traditionally and principally viticulture, took
to the hillsides. Red wine falls into the Bergerac AOC appellation
and white into the Montravel and Côtes de Montravel appellations.
The valley is now a residential and commercial area.
Port St Foy et Ponchapt is twinned with Plobsheim in Alsace and
the two communes have strong ties going back to 1940 when many
Plobsheim families took refuge in Port St Foy from the German
occupation of their own town.
The commune’s geographical structure is formed by plateaux and
The Dordogne valley represents six kilometres of easily
accessible, shady river banks much appreciated by fishermen,
sailors and walkers.
The northern side of the valley is hemmed in by wooded hillsides
and a ridge of rocky terrain.
The plateaux going towards Ponchapt rise and dip and offer
panoramic views over a well-maintained countryside. Agriculture
and viticulture dominate the region and vineyards add a beauty of
their own to the landscape.
In the middle of the plateaux the hills of Puy-Servain (170m
altitude), La Rouquette and Ponchapt are still topped by windmills,
and the old villages of La Rouquette and Ponchapt nestle in this
To add to the diversity of this picture, characteristic
Périgourdin and Double landscapes begin to feature to the very
north of the commune.
The countryside is still very ‘rural’ - something which cannot
necessarily be taken for granted these days.
The local council elected in 2014 :
Mayor : M REIX Jacques
1st Deputy : PENISSON Pascale
2nd Deputy : ROUSSEAU Jean-Louis Joël
3rd Deputy : PRADELLE Dominique
4th Deputy : BOILEAU Claude
5th Deputy : LOUIS Yolande
Local Councillors : BADET Nancy, BORDE Alain, BUSO Anne-Marie,
CHAVIER Bernadette, LA SALMONIE Jacques, LABORDE Joël, LUTZ
Thierry, MAUREAU Georges, PEYRONNET Colette, PHILIT Monique,
REBEYROLLE Jean, REGNER Jean, SILOTTO Sylvie