Sadillac, situated 17km from Bergerac and 13km from Eymet, is a rural commune with a surface area of 563 ha and a population of 107.
Situated on the edge of the village of Sadillac, 5 km to the south of Château de Monbazillac, and the less famous, but more beautiful Château de Bridoire. Château de Sadillac is only 15 km from Bergerac and the Dordogne river, superbly situated to explore the countryside, wine, food and history of South West France.
Château de Sadillac’s history goes back to the 12th century when it was an ancient fortified Priory. In the middle-ages Sadillac was a fortified village surrounded by ramparts. Between 1405 and 1569 Thomas head of the protestants razed the village to the ground after ferocious battle, leaving only the apse of the church and the ancient fortified Priory – the Château – in which he lodged his garrison. Today, the ground-floor and tower, which date back to the 12th century, still exist, along the Church at the side. The upper levels of the Château date back to the 16th Century and the whole has been fully and sympathetically restored.
A brief history of the commune:
The date of the village’s foundation is unknown but it would appear that it existed during Roman times.
All that’s left is the name Sadillac with its ‘ac’ suffix from the Latin ‘acum’.
In 1876 the commune had a population of 236 composed mainly of farmers but also several coopers and weavers.
In the church to the left of the apse is the tomb of Master Jean Vassanges, sub-deacon
of Sarlat Cathedral, prior and Seigneur of Sadillac who died at the priory, aged 17, on 25 July 1744 and was buried in the church on the same day.
The parish graveyard would appear to be extremely old. Behind the village, below the path known as the ‘Ronde’, quite a number of graves have been uncovered; this would have been the Protestant graveyard.
The priory, which it is believed was affiliated to Cadouin Monastery, dates from the 15th century but was altered and largely rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries. In 1792 it was sold off as national property and its new owner turned it from a three to two-storied building, lowering the south-facing tower by about 6m and exchanging the spire for a dovecote.
The earliest mention of town walls dates from the beginning of the 15th century and probably refers to walls built during the Hundred Years War in the second half of the 14th century.
It is claimed that Charles IV passed through Sadillac and Henry IV stayed there.
Until the 18th century Sadillac had the statute of township.
What to see:
St Anne’s Church (listed as an Historical Monument in 1957). Renovated in 1995-1997. The village square was renovated in 1999.
The church belonged to the priory and although its date is unknown, the oldest, right-hand side dates from at least the 13th century.
The church, which is dedicated to St Anne, is 21mtrs long and 6mtrs wide and has only one nave. The original architecture was Romanesque-Byzantine. The right-hand wall is especially remarkable due to its groups of clustered columns, some square, some round, topped by carved capitals which, despite their poor condition, are still of particular interest.
Sculpted imaginary beasts, fish and other symbols commonly used in the 13th century can still be discerned under the capitals. The belfry, door and rest of the church are of less interest dating only from the Renaissance.
Sadillac church harbours some of the most beautiful capitals in the Bergerac region.
There are two main springs. One near the château with, on the back wall a scratched Greek cross dating from the 13th or 14th century (or the imitation of just such a cross).
Hiking Trails: The Boucle de Sadillac / Singleyrac
The 9 km walk is lasting for 3 hours. Click here for the map.
Suitable for horse-riders, walkers and mountain-bikers