A unique and unusual place in Dordogne: La Cité de Clairvivre to discover in Tèrra Aventura!

Salagnac
A unique and unusual  ...


Today, we invite you to walk in a unique place in Dordogne and in France, an unusual place which will immerse you in the maquis past of the Dordogne... The Cité de Clairvivre is located in Salagnac, not far from the gorges of the 'Auvézère. In this peaceful and natural region of Périgord Vert, arises this group of buildings with 1930s architecture, “belle époque” style. Clairvivre is a place that has always been tinged with kindness, sharing and helping people. Today, it is a city which has stood the test of time and managed to renew itself, to persist in its social vocation by finding new reasons for being. We will discover it in “Tèrra Aventura” mode, puzzles and Poï’z will accompany us to make the ride attractive for children!

Report photo: Périgord Guide

The City of Clairvivre main building

What is Clairvivre in Dordogne?

Clairvivre is a timeless place, located in Salagnac, on a hill in the middle of nature and near the Auvézère gorges. On the edge of the Born Forest (like Bertrand de Born!), Clairvivre emerged from the ground in the 1930's. It's a slightly crazy project, which received a mixed reception from the locals at the time, more for its appearance than for its (social) vocation. The City of Clairvivre is architecturally avant-garde for its time. Made entirely of concrete, it features clean lines, bright colors inspired by the Mediterranean, shapely curves and large door canopies. Walking around there, you feel like you've been thrown into the past, because it has kept all its character of yesteryear! If you like seaside-style architecture, like in Royan (in Charente Maritime) for example, you will fall under its spell.

The City of Clarvivre
The City of Clarvivre


At its creation (by the doctor Albert Delsuc and the architect Pierre Forestier), the Cité de Clairvivre aimed to be a truly autonomous small town (even self-sufficient) with all the necessary infrastructure to accommodate families and all classes of ages (shops, schools, hospitals, hotels, cinemas, restaurants). Here, we will treat the wounded (tuberculosis in particular) who were gassed during the 14-18 war, it's a kind of sanatorium! Pure air of Périgord, open view, gentle way of life, no town nearby (for contamination problems)... Not only sick people are welcomed there, their entire family was invited and gradually, during 1960, people adults with disabilities will be supported on site for an ambitious program of reintegration, training and personal assistance.


Please note: The place was labeled 20th century Heritage in 2011 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The City of Clarvivre sculpture in homage to the creator of the city
Sculpture in homage to the creator of the city


The City of Clairvivre today is an EPD (Departmental Public Establishment) which is like a place outside of time and a little self-sufficient, in peace, to support people with disabilities. There is training , reorientation, and a journey around inclusion and autonomy. Many medical professions, but also in accounting, communication, HR and quality professions are present on site, with shops and leisure activities available. There are events for everyone, others private for the public concerned by the activities of the place.


Read our article on this region of generous nature, to organize your vacation on the territory of the Naturally Périgord Tourist Office!


City of Clairvivre the pavilions
City of Clairvivre near the greenhouse
City of Clairvivre, the greenhouse

The greenhouse is the workplace of the horticultural center of the training center

To go further: It was not only the architecture that was avant-garde, it was also the living conditions. Equipped with its own sewage treatment plant, its wood heating system and electricity production (at a time when, let's remember, the Dordogne being very rural, most homes were not equipped), Clairvivre fascinates, perhaps a little jealous, it is the “city in the country” and comfort is pushed to the point of providing each home… with its own bathroom!

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Visit the City of Clairvivre with Terrà Aventura or Randoland, or just like that!


Never forget that you are in a place where people live and where the social dimension is omnipresent. Be respectful of housing and residents. There are establishments dedicated to welcoming the public (hotel, shops, restaurants), buildings for the sick and others for the people who work, train and live there.


Clairvivre is fascinating to discover but even richer is its history. Bring a Randoland sheet or your Smartphone with the Tèrra Aventura application (free). We recommend that you download the route data, because the network is sometimes finicky during the ride. You will follow the Poï'z and learn more about the creation of the center, the patients who were welcomed and treated there. Poilus from the 14-18 War, but also the wounded from the Spanish War, many Alsatians and Lorrainers... We will also train and gradually put sick people back to work by creating jobs that will make the community and them profitable. allow you to maintain your autonomy.

Terra Aventura City of Clairvivre
Terra Aventura Clairvivre
City of Clairvivre Terra Aventura
Clairvivre Forest


After the walk in Clairvivre, go and discover the Auvézère gorges, near Saint-Mesmin, it's magnificent!

The Tèrra Aventura quest will teach you more about the presence of the Resistance, the Maquisards of Dordogne during the Second World War. Indeed, being too recent, Clairvivre is absent from German maps and no presence of enemy troops is recorded during the War.

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You will walk near the main buildings, the old hospital, the power and heating plant. A forest break (welcome when it's hot) then you will join the pavilions (176 double pavilions initial to the creation of the City in 1933) and make a large loop to return to the main buildings. The walk is 4.5km, taking your time it takes 2 hours of walking.


Randoland also offers a discovery of the City of Clairvivre. You can download the Clairvivre Randoland information sheet (in fr) from the Naturally Périgord Tourist Office website.


We wish you a pleasant time in this moving, atypical place... A unique break in Périgord!


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City of Clairvivre the pavilions
The Clairvivre Alsatian Cemetery
City of Clairvivre


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