The small city of Sorèze will charm you by its diverse medieval heritage surrounding the Abbey-School.
The town Sorèze developed around the Benedictine abbey founded in 754, gradually eating away at the old fortress of Berniquaut as it grew. Another abbey, Notre-Dame-de-la-Sagne, whose existence is attested by archival documents as early as the 11th century, brought an essential boost to the growth of Sorèze.
The village bears the marks of the changing fortunes of history. The abbey was destroyed several times in the Middle Ages and during the Wars of Religion. Many of its stones were reused to build the town, and can be seen on the facades of houses in the village. The abbey became a boarding school in 1685. As the school became more and more successful, the buildings were expanded in a monumental neo-classical architecture. You can take a close look at the beautiful facades of the Abbey-School on rue Saint-Martin and the courtyards on rue Lacordaire.
Some of the houses still visible in the old town of Sorèze date back to the Middle Ages. Other residential buildings show beautiful half-timbered and corbelled facades; the structures of the houses are light, and well adapted to the marshy ground. They are built in bricks and wood coming from the surrounding forests. Admire the intricate wooden frames.
Another vestige of the Middle Ages stands in the center of the village. The bell tower Saint-Martin is the only remaining witness of the 15th century parish church of Sorèze. Only the choir of the church was vaulted in a flamboyant gothic style.