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The commune of Pezuls, situated at the Sainte Alvère (4km) - Trémolat (5km) and Le Bugue (12km) - Lalinde (13km) crossroads, covers 1038 hectares and counts of population of 110 (official population on January 1, 2017). The commune includes hills, plains and the small valleys which follow the Rèze stream. The stream descends from its source at La Font du Calpre to flow into the Dordogne at Trémolat. Altitude : 90m to 206m.

     
 

The site of Pezuls has been inhabited since Gallo-Roman times and, according to various books dealing with this period, was even crossed by the Bordeaux-Brives Roman road.
Few actual traces of the Roman occupation exist in the area except perhaps in place names. A plot of land just near the church is called
La Caminade (from the Gaulish ‘Camminos’ meaning ‘chemin’ in French, or ‘path’ in English) which would support the theory of the Roman road crossing the village.
 

     
 

References to the parish of Pezuls first appear in the 13th century with « la parochia de Pesulio » in 1283.
According to a traditional story handed down over the years and corroborated by a number of old writings, Pezuls was
a place of convalescence for the nuns of Paunat Abbey. Their lodgings - the ruins of which still existed well into the 19th century - were situated on the southern side of the church into which was built a small, arched, communicating door. Although the door has been walled up for a very long time, its outline can still be seen.
According to the same story, a long time ago there existed a church or chapel to the north-west of the village which may even have been the parish church while the existing church may have been the Paunat nuns’ chapel. No evidence exists to place or date the church more exactly and nor are the reasons for its disappearance known.
St Anne’s Fountain, situated near the church, used to be a place of worship and the old folk claimed that its waters would turn milky before a storm.

The Puy de Rèze 18th century manor house stands on the site of a former castle - the Castrum de Podio Daregas - dominating the valley down to Trémolat. This haunt of the nobility goes back a very long way as it was here that was born Guillaume de Cendrieux de Pédevèges, fourth bishop of Sarlat, 1334 to 1338.
Before being demolished and replaced by the current manor house by the Duchassaing de Fonbressin family, the château belonged to the Lostanges family. In the Count’s honours list of 1541 Bertrand de Lostanges, Seigneur of Sainte Alvère and Puydarège, is mentioned. For nearly 400 years now, since 1609, St Anne’s church bell has had the name of its patron - Louis de Lostanges - engraved on its side.

The village of Pezuls changed slightly in the 19th century when two new roads crossed the village, one going from Port de Couze to Bretenoux, the other from Sainte Alvère to Trémolat’s train station. Between 1877 and 1883 the decimation of the region’s vines by the Phylloxera epidemic provoked a mass exodus of people from the countryside and a drop in the population from 472 to 262 in 20 years. At the beginning of the 20th century the situation was just beginning to improve when the Great War intervened and the population dropped steadily from then on till the 1970s.
There is, however, hope at the beginning of the third millennium as newcomers join the
calm and pleasant commune of Pezuls.




Text translated by Pays du Grand Bergeracois (professional translator).