Périgueux (pārēgöˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 32,848), capital of Dordogne dept., SW France, on the Isle River. A commercial center and transportation hub, it is famous for the pâtés that are its chief exports. The city's major manufactures are tobacco products, chemicals, and leather goods. Périgueux was the ancient Vesumna or Vésona of Gallic Petrocorii (see Gaul) and became the capital of Périgord in the 9th cent. It passed (1204) to Philip II of France, was taken (1356) by the English, was regained (1454) by France, and became (16th cent.) a Protestant stronghold. Roman remains include large arenas, the Vésona tower, and an amphitheater. The Byzantine Cathedral of St. Front and the Basilica of St. Étienne date from the 12th cent.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.