Gentle subdued light caresses the old Périgord town. With its 105 lanterns using inverted gas mantles for down lighting, the town is draped in a subtle halo of light, creating an elegant, poetic atmosphere. Under the gaze of Badaud, a bronze sculpture by Gérard Auliac, Sarlat is stunning by day and by night.
© Gareth Kirkland
Give night back to the night! The sentence, which might have been the title to a song, sums up the sound advice of Jacques Rouveyrollis, a well-known lighting designer to the mayor of Sarlat. He created unique lighting for the town as a way of bringing poetry back to one of Europe’s most beautiful medieval sets. Launched in the 1990s, the ambitious project installed altogether 105 gas-fuelled candelabras. Placed closer to the ground, they diffuse a gentle golden light that washes across the walls of beautiful homes covered in tradition flagstone roofs typical of the Périgord region. The capital of the Black Périgord is known around the world for its sublime night lighting. In the town centre, the weekly market, an unmissable regional highlight, is a culinary tradition, and an invitation to taste and enjoy famous local products, such as foie gras, porcini mushrooms, truffles, strawberries, or walnuts. Steeped in culinary tradition and expertise, goose and truffle-based products are the town’s prized highlights, honoured by farmers, as did previous generations.