Hiking the Prehistoric Romans and Medieval Trail
A bit of History :
The Beune Valley is a wonderful valley that branches into the Vezere Valley, and is often overlooked by the high volume of tourists that visit places like Les Eyzies de Tayac. Surprising, because the Beune valley has a lot to show for itself, and it was a prime spot for our Prehistoric Ancestors, evidence of this can be seen at the fantastic ” Cap Blanc” where you can visit a Prehistoric settlement complete with life size engravings of numerous horses. It was also in the Beune Valley, just a short distence from Cap Blanc where they found the “Venus of Laussel“
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The Romans arrived in this area in 56 BC under command of Publius Crassus, a lieutenant of Julius Caesar, on a quest to rid the Celts and Gauls. The Romans were hindered here in the Beune Valley by a large stretch of swamp land. Instead of finding a clear way around the swamp, the Romans did what they did best.. They constructed two canals to drain the water, and in between the two canals they constructed a road to keep the marching Roman soldiers dry. They also constructed numerous locks.
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A very dominant feature of the Beune Valley is Chateau de Commarque. The true origin and history of the castle and village is uncertain. It’s believed to have been founded in the 12th century, and to have been rebuilt in stone in the 14th century, with later additions continuing until the 18th century, when the castle and village appear to have been totally abandoned. The English captured it during the Hundred Years’ War (1350’s – 1450’s) for several years. This location was strategic—near the crossing of two main roads in medieval France and the site of a spring—essential for the village and castle life.
Prehistoric Romans and Medieval
This could easily be the adventure of a liftime, or your worst nightmare. Three things are certain on this hike, you will get wet, you will get dirty and you have an unforgettable time, that you will fondly look back on for the rest of your life.
As mentioned in the Roman History above, the vast majority of this area is swamp land, and a large section of our hike goes right along it. We take you along a cliff that is riddled with caves, shelters and escape tunnels from the castle above us. You get to explore the very spot the “Venus of Laussel” was found. We also explore the Roman constructions that were built, so the Roman Soldiers could continue their march. We then take you along an old trail to the lost and forgotten part of the Village of Commarque, before reaching the dominant Castle and troglodyte village of Commarque.
This trail is only suited for the very adventureous hiker who is not afraid to get wet and dirty.. For these people this is definitely a must.
Trail Stats :
Start : Eglise de Tayac , Les Eyzies de Tayac
Finish : Eglise de Tayac , Les Eyzies de Tayac
Distance : 10 km
Time : 3-5 hours ( depending on group and time spent exploring )
Type : off the beaten track
Highlights : Caves, Shelters, Troglodytes, Commarque
Persons : min. 1, max. 4
Price : € 18 p/p hour max €90 or €300 for group of 4
Extras : picnic available for € 10,-
Note : Sorry this trail is not suited for young children