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History

The village of Issigeac is mainly a medieval city. Yet, its roots are much older. Indeed, men have been  living in this country since the mists of time (c. 200 000 years BC). The first artefacts date back to Acheulean. Throughout the district, many other artefacts, dating from the Mousterian, Neolithic and Bronze Age, were discovered. Besides, the region of Issigeac has the most important number of megalithic remains.

During  the 4th century, there was a Gallo-roman villa  which parts (the baths) have been disovered in 1994 during roadwork. This house was decorated with mosaïcs, pieces made in stucco. A Merovingian necropolis was built on exact site of the villa which has been ruined during the Barbarian invasions.

The first written mention of Issigeac date from 1008; it was about the church Saint Martin. There was also a monastery, which depended on the great abbey of Sarlat. In the 13th century, the city was protected by ramparts, to defend itself from the fights of the war between France and England. In 1268, the citizens of the city paid homage to Edward the First, King of England. At the beginning, the domain had belonged to the lords of Bergerac. The leaders of the community of monks took control of the political power and became the Lords of Issigeac. In 1298, customary was composed.

In 1351, the bishops of Sarlat  took possession of Issigeac: from then on, Issigeac became the place of residence of the prelates of Sarlat. The church was then built, during the 16th century, by Armand de Gontaut-Biron, bishop of Sarlat. But soon, the city as badly affected by religious wars. The church and the castle were partially destroyed, and the village did not return to normal until the 17th .The castle and the present church were rebuilt under the episcopate of François 2nd Salignac de Lamothe-Fénelon. It is at the same period that Fénelon, a well-known writer, lived in the castle, at his uncle’s.

In 1789, the citizens of Issigeac wrote the cahier de doléances. The village met many changes during the 19th century, changes that had no important effects on its architecture. The village became torpid at the beginning of 20th century, which kept it from the big urbanisation.

Nowadays, it's a small city that has curbed its depopulation and where life is sweet. That’s why many tourists come here each year to visit, and even sometimes to settle.