The Medieval City of Perouges…with Paula Gilhooley


About 30 kilometers from Lyon is the hilltop Medieval town of Perouges, overlooking the Dombas Plateau. It was founded by a Gallic colony returning from Perogia Italy in the 11th century.   In the 12th century it was granted a communal franchises and the textile industry bloomed in the town and lasted through the 18th century.    It has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful villages in France. This fortified village of Perouges has been conserved since 1
911 by the Beaux Arts Commission and as such has attracted several film companies and has been featured in “The Three Musketeers” and “Monsieur Vincent”.

Once you pass through the gates of En Haut (High Gate) you discover  narrow cobbled river stone streets lined with old facades and a 15th century church that resembles a fortress.  The timber framed houses with its mullioned windows take you on a journey through time.    The main street “Rue des Rondes” runs in a circle around the center of the village.  Place du Tilleuls square is at the heart of the village with a 13th century Inn, Old Saint George.

fullsizeoutput_823img_0800The square is named after the lime tree in the square.   At the North corner of the square is the Sundial with its inscription”I’ll only tell you the time on a sunny days”.  At one end of the square is the Museum which has looms, parchments, weapons, tools antique furniture etc.  Its Gothic Gallery was useimg_2478
d by the linen merchants.  The museum was once the home of the Dukes of Savoy and the paintings within the museum tell the towns history.

Rue des Princes leading to the square was the main merchant street and the houses have large bay windows with shutters that folded down for the merchants to display their wares for passing by customers.  The pastry “Gallette de Perouges” a puff pastry cake with a deep sugar topping is the speciality of the town and the Ostellerie and was created in 1911 by Mrs. Thibaut.



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