A natural jewel case


The valley of the Vézère, also known as the valley of the Man …

The valley of the Vézère is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

It is after a long journey that began more than 90 million years ago in the Upper Cretaceous, when all this landscape was covered by the sea in a tropical climate! It will be this part of limestone sandy limestone at the bottom of the ocean which will favor the multiplication of caves, tunnels, shelters under rock and famous flint kidneys so important for the prehistoric man.

The valley of the Beune, classified Natura 2000 and ZNIEFF, where the Castle of Commarque is built, has the largest concentration of engraved paleolithic caves in the world.

In the quartenary or Pleistocene area, about 2.5 million years ago, the climate changes again and becomes colder, the successive glacial waves leave very deep imprints in the limestone which bursts under the intensity of the Cold and releases many fragments that are deposited at the feet of the slopes: the famous castines or greze of Périgord. Beunes or streams appear! The famous emblematic cliffs of the country are formed highlighting the hardness of these limestones, while at their base the more “magneux” limestone opens a series of shelters under rock under the effect of the cold and the humidity. This is the time when our species the homo sapiens appears. At the time the man is a hunter-gatherer.

It is in this particularly rich setting (water, wood, shelter) that man settles and develops the brilliant civilization of flint: it is the era of the Palaeolithic.
Then comes the time of climatic calm, the cold disappear, the Beunes welcome a particularly rich vegetation; The heap of this vegetation gives rise to peat sometimes over more than 15metres of thickness, peat which contributes today to the preservation of the memory of these times immemorial.

The Castle of Commarque is thus enveloped in a green setting preserved from all traces of modern man. The emotion of the pilgrim-visitor is all the more mysterious…