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Capital of the Périgord Vert


The small town of Nontron styles itself as the capital of the Green Périgord and is situated in the north of the region on the banks of the river Bandiat. The surrounding area is known as the Nontronais, an agricultural region stretching over to to Thiviers in the east.

There has been a settlement here since at least the early medieval period and there is evidence that it was sacked by the Saracens before their defeat by Charles Martel. In the Middle Ages the town changed hands several times until it finally became a sub-prefecture of the Dordogne département after the Revolution.

The Nontron Knife

Nontron’s most well known building is the Château de la Mothe constructed in 1478 for the sister of King François 1st. Later it was owned by a cousin of the explorer Jacques Cartier. The town’s most famous product today is the Nontron Knife which is one of the oldest and most traditional cutting tools manufactured in France today.

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Market day: Saturday

Tourist Office



Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Paul Shawcross