Dordogne (river)

The main rivers of France, among them the Dordogne

The Dordogne at Domme

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Dordogne [ dɔʀdɔɲ ] is a river in south-western France. It arises in the municipality of Mont- Dore, near the Puy de Sancy, from the confluence of the headwaters Dore and Dogne. In general, they drained in a westerly direction, scores from a river course of 483 kilometers along the Bec d' Ambès, near Bordeaux, the Garonne, and thus forms the estuary of the Gironde, which eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

By Crossed departments

The Dordogne crosses on their way following departments:

  • Puy -de- Dôme (63 ), in the Auvergne region
  • Corrèze ( 19), in the Limousin region
  • Lot (46 ), in the Midi -Pyrénées
  • Dordogne ( 24) and
  • Gironde (33 ), both the Aquitaine region

The Dordogne is named after the river.


The river drains an area of approximately 24,000 km ², its average flow is 450 m³ / s The river supports at the level of the famous La Roque- Gageac a flow rate of 20 m³ / s up to 2500 m³ / s in the spring floods, so the row of houses in France very popular waterfront promenade of the village on the ground floor is unoccupied. Despite costly efforts to regulate the water level of the river by dams and weirs, natural or artificial, occur in the Dordogne Valley, especially in the month of August violent flood caused serious damage.


Left tributaries:

  • Rhue
  • Sumene
  • Auze
  • Maronne
  • Cère
  • Bave
  • Ouysse
  • Céou
  • Couze

Rights tributaries:

  • Chavanon
  • Dognon
  • Diège
  • Triouzoune
  • Luzège
  • Doustre
  • Souvigne
  • Vézère
  • Caudeau
  • Lidoire
  • Isle

Places on the river

  • Mont -Dore
  • Argentat
  • Beaulieu -sur -Dordogne
  • Carennac
  • Souillac
  • Domme
  • Bergerac
  • Libourne

Shipping today

For the professional it is navigable inland waterways from Bergerac, for tourism travel the river from Domme down small sailing ships as a nostalgic replicas of historical freighter (French gabares ).


The name comes from the Celtic word you Dordogne abnormal and means fast water. With the occupation of Gaul by the Roman Empire it was called Duranius, from which evolved during the Middle Ages Duranna, Durunia, Durdunia and finally Dordoigne. The current label Dordogne was eponymous for the source rivers Dore and Dogne, not vice versa.


The Dordogne Valley is demonstrably inhabited since the Iron Age. Archaeological excavations at Bergerac put ancient amphoras of wine free from the 1st and 2nd century BC, and thus demonstrated the existence of ancient wine trade routes between Gaul and the Old Rome, long before the wine spread throughout France. The use of the river continued in modern times. The biking the Dordogne as Inland Navigation Vessels were initially opposed their properties as a wild river. It was not until the mid-19th century after the construction of the canal from Lalinde and numerous locks and dams of the freight profitably by cargo ship to the Dordogne between Argentat and Bordeaux. Despite the nature of the impoundment river and its seasonal level variations required a type of boat with a shallow draft and perfect control ability. This simply designed gabares mostly served only to transport goods downstream, were dismantled on arrival ports and sold together with the cargo. For ordinary charge of these boats belonged wood from areas in the river headwaters in Auvergne, as well as cheese, coal and chestnuts from the Limousin region. At the end of the 19th century, the commercially used river transport completely lost on the Dordogne with the opening up of Europe by the railway technology their meaning.

Economic Importance

In contrast to neighboring metropolitan regions such as Bordeaux, Limoges and Toulouse the Dordogne Valley is still predominantly agrarian, industrial weakly developed and is therefore the France profonde counted. The largest economic sector in the influence area of the Dordogne is the food industry. Thus, the region of the Perigord as exquisite delicacy chamber of France. In addition, in the area around Bergerac have numerous red and white wineries such as Vin de Domme, Pecharmant, Montbazillac Saint -Emilion and Pomerol long tradition, however, the Vins Bergeracois can go to the Bordeaux vines hardly prevail in the international wine trade due to the direct neighborhood.

The Dordogne is today due to its scenic river valley, its well- preserved and restored since the medieval village and castle views and shallow river course as one of the most popular water sports regions and water trails in France.


The Dordogne Valley can be buried and rock history on the one hand according to the typical characteristics of a granite and gneiss area, which is caused by volcanological activity of the Massif Central, on the other hand, however, and rather characterized by features of a karst landscape dominated by erosion processes. The area around Bretenoux and Castelnau, where the river from the Correze ( 19) in the department Lot (46 ) flows and opens the Cère in the Dordogne, can be roughly described as the boundary between these two geological surface textures.

The numerous karstic and up to 300 meters thick limestone plateau (French: limestone plateaus ), through which the Dordogne has dug in the course of the earth, have their origin in the Cretaceous, as primeval seas covered large parts of Europe today, sediments such as sand, shells or clay were deposited and withdrew again. In the Tertiary these deposits concentrated to limestone and broke as a result of his own rock pressure and plate tectonics apart. The creative power of the river and the carbonated weather shaped today's Dordogne Valley. One interesting for cavers and tourists example of such Verkarstungsvorgänge is the emergence de Meyraguet, a cavernous outlet of an underground river from a cliff in the Dordogne Lacave.