Montignac, the bridge town !

Zéchopp - History of commerce

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Montignac, une histoire de ponts
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Departure post : Parking des Sagnes (N45° 04.065' / E001° 09.882')

Aren’t the roads lovely here ? “Les Sagnes” is a car park for cars, motorbikes, bicycles and campervans! And this is where our adventure begins! Today, we’ll be looking for our fiend Zechop!

When you entered the car park, did you notice the residence belonging to my old friend Eugène le Roy? He was a famous Périgord author. His novel “Jacquou le Croquant” was very popular in France ! There’s a street named after him in Montignac.

Where do you think the word ‘Sagnes’ comes from» ?

  1. Um… could you please repeat the question ?!?

  2. From Sénégal, since Montignac has a twin town in Africa…

  3. From the Latin word stagnum which means «stagnant water », and from the Gallic word « sagna » : which refers to marshland.

Write this digit down. It is the equivalent of A : A =_____

Hint: Montignac is near the river Vézère. The Vézère river bed has considerably expanded and often overflows. Nowadays, the Vézère is located just a metres from the river Dordogne!

“Rue Archiprêtre Noel” (N45° 04.049' / E001° 09.823')

Another famous figure from Montignac is Antoine Noel. He was born and died in a house in a street that is now named after him. Noel was Montignac’s “archpriest”, an honorary title given to certain priests. From 1791 onwards, priests had to take an oath to the State church. Those who refused were called  « Réfractaires» (meaning “defiant”) and were persecuted. Archpriest Noël took the oath but kept his religious convictions. He was put in jail, then freed at the behest of an inhabitant from Montignac! He became a popular local figure and when he died, was given the title of « archpriest of Montignac, knight of the legion honour.

Find Noel’s house and its street number.

Write this number down. It is the equivalent of B : B =_____

Go to “Place d’Arme” square via “rue Sainte Catherine” at N 45°04.014' / E 001°09.803' and “rue de la Vertu”

“Place d’Armes” square (N45° 03.983' / E001° 09.801')

Look at all the lovely 14th and 17th century houses. Find the house on the west side of the square, where a builder signed his name. How many times did he “sign” it?

Write this digit down. It is the equivalent of C : C =_____

The flood wall ! (N45° 03.966' / E001° 09.782')

At the corner of “rue Lafitte” and “archiprêtre Noel” there is a flood wall. Flood levels are marked on it. Find the year of the flood that is written on the wall, about shoulder high…   « Crue de ____ ».

Add the 4 digits together to get a new 2-digit number.

Write this number down. It is the equivalent of D : D =_____

Bombarde fountain/washhouse (N45° 03.960' / E001° 09.775')

Keep going until you reach the river Vézère, and Bombarde fountain/washhouse, where you can freshen up… When it was restored, the workers discovered the initials J.B. on it : an artisan from Montignac who is also said to have built the Bombareau washhouse, which you can see a little further down.

Look up from your GPS, to see the architecture of the houses above the river. They are built on stilts, to keep them safe from floods!

How many stillts can you see on the house above the fountain ? 


Write this number down. It is the equivalent of E : E =_____
it's an even number

Keep going along the quays, and go to the next spot.

The old wooden bridge (N45° 03.947' / E001° 09.717')

Over here! I must say I’m a bit nervous! You’re my very first geocachers!

 Have a look at the river and picture a wooden bridge upon it. This very first bridge was built in the year 1000! It enabled travellers to get from Limoges and La Rochelle in the north to Narbonne, Toulouse, Cahors and Sarlat in the south. It was an important and strategic trading zone !

Between 1380 and 1580, the bridge marked Montignac’s history. It had 4 pillars. On one of the pillars, a square tower was built. It was used as a guard and toll tower

 In the 16th century, the bridge was a true public street, lined with shops. Or what the French call “échoppes” : small boutiques which opened onto the street. That’s where I got my name from! Zéchop!

In 1580, in the middle of the Religious Wars, the Périgord and Limousin Protestant governor, Geoffroy de Vivans’s troops were cornered so they destroyed the bridge and fled the area. It was rebuilt in 1586, then was destroyed once and for all by a flood in 1620. Up until 1768, a ferry took people from one riverbank to the other.

Time for a maths problem! If in 1622, a 21 year old young lady had to cross the river 4 times per week to get to Bombarde washhouse, and if the trip across took 4 minutes and 37 seconds one way, then 4min and 55 seconds on the way back, can you tell me how old the young lady was in 1648?   

Write this number down. It is the equivalent of Z : Z =_____

The livestock market (N45° 03.956' / E001° 09.697')

Take “rue Mme Martel”, and find the arch, which was once the entrance to the livestock market. Watch your head! 

How many stones is the arch made of?

Write this number down. It is the equivalent of F : F =_____

“Place Joubert” square (N45° 03.968' / E001° 09.703')

Joseph Joubert was born in Montignac in 1754. He was a French moralist and essay-writer. 

What is the main subject a moralist writes about?  

  1. « Religion »

  2. « Relationships»

  3. « Death »

  4. « Moral principles »

Write this digit down. It is the equivalent of G : G =_____

Go to the next spot via the quay, or via the road.  

Pont Vieux (N45° 03.926' / E001° 09.654')

Although Pont Vieux means “old bridge”, this isn’t Montignac’s oldest bridge! It was built in the 18th century and it considerably contributed to the town’s development.  Its construction was instigated by the owner of a spinning mill. 150 spinners from both sides of the river worked for him. The bridge made it easier for his employees to reach the mill and to transport his goods.

An engineer by the name of Tardif built the bridge : 2 semi-circular arches, a 13 m opening, 1 basket arch with a 20m opening… !

 There are two dates engraved in the rock on one of the bridge pillars. Subtract the two.

Write this number down. It is the equivalent of H : H =_____

Cross the bridge over the river, and take “rue Daumesnil” by turning left at N 45°03.895' / E 001°09.696'

The old trade bridge (N45° 03.923' / E001° 09.757')

Here, you are in the Deck officer’s quarters. What makes it different from Montignac’s other districts are its fluvial infrastructures and port facilities (quays, warehouses, piers…).

Navigating on the Vézère was a vital activity, because the river was the only means of merchandise transportation, for quite a long time.

Goods transited in Montignac… they arrived by boat, then were transported by donkeys! Toll rates went from 50 centimes to 1 franc per pair of cows and per kilometre in the beginning of the 19th century! A toll called “La Patgarie”, in charge of collecting a tax called “Gabelle” – which was a tax on salt-  was set up in 1479 and gave its name to “rue Pégerie”, which you’ll see later on.

Wood was the main type of good transported on the river : walnut, oak for barrel-making, chestnut to make vine stakes…

On their way home, the boats would bring back salt, wine, salt cod and spices…

Some boats were so rudimentary that they never made it back… they were sold for their wood upon arrival.


These flat-bottomed boats are typical of the Dordogne area. This type of boat is called a... 

Count the letters in this word which begins with a “G”.

Write this digit down. It is the equivalent of I : I =_____
it's an odd number !

"Rue de la Pégerie" (N45° 03.911' / E001° 09.761')

I love it here! Look at the houses! There were shops on the ground floor called “échoppes”. You didn’t enter these shops, they were open, on the streets, like stalls.

Tell us about their shutters, Zéchop!

Well, the shutters would be lowered at night, to close the stalls, and were opened in the daytime to be used as shelves, for their goods!

This must have been a very lively place !

There was also a commandery nearby. Jeanne d’Albret, King Henry the 4th’s mother used to live there 

What is the commandery’s street number ?

Write this digit down. It is the equivalent of J : J =_____

Your journey in Montignac is almost over! I’m sure you’ll return some day to search for Zilex and the Lascaux caves! But for now, the time has come to find my hiding spot !

The cache !

« Attention geocaching friends ! No need to lift rocks, pick walls apart, or uproot plants... the cache is most likely there, right before your eyes! Remember that your quest must remain environmentally friendly ! Thank-you ! »

If your answers are all correct, the cache’s GPS coordinates will be green on the app.
Click on "locate the cache" then let the app guide you!

Cache coordinates: N(G)5° 0(A+J),0(I-2)(C) / E001° 0(B-A),(H+D+5)(F-E)
 The mystery word is written in the log book, inside the container

Well done, you have found the cache!
See you soon for more adventures!

Contact :

Office de Tourisme Lascaux- Dordogne, Vallée Vézère – Bureau de Montignac
Place Bertran de Born
05 53 51 82 60

Terr'Aventurers' comments

28 jan 2022

Sablé-Dubois has found the cache

superbe village

27 jan 2022

Les Sablé-Dubois has found the cache

merci top!

27 jan 2022

Les Sablé-Dubois has found the cache

genial merci

26 jan 2022

Paulnich has found the cache

jolie ville

26 jan 2022

Kleinklein has found the cache

Froid mais beau

26 jan 2022

Portugets39@ho… has found the cache


26 jan 2022

phiphiphi has found the cache

petit parcours bien sympathique

25 jan 2022

alexetmeg has found the cache

très beau village, prévoir un peu plus de temps pour pouvoir continuer à flâner car beaucoup de choses à voir! mplc

24 jan 2022

Galadrielle has found the cache

Très sympa avec ce temps ensoleillé

24 jan 2022

Lardoise has found the cache

Belle balade