History

Although its history is little known today, nevertheless Dondas has been shown to be one of the oldest inhabited places in the region.

At the end of the last century a prehistoric cave was discovered, containing a variety of objects and bones, now preserved in the Fine Art Museum in Agen. New researches in 1994 provided confirmation that the cave at Dondas was used as a funeral chamber, in all likelihood at the end of the Neolithic period (about 2800 years before Christ).

The area covered by the commune (Gallo-Roman in origin, a legacy of Donatius, a Roman centurion of the first century) takes the shape of a V: one arm comprised the parish of Gandaille, formerly a dependency of the seigneury of Combebonnet with its castle (twelfth to fourteenth century); the other constituted the independent parish and seigneury of Dondas, which, from the thirteenth century, was the site of a priory, an offshoot of the Benedictine abbey of Sarlat (itself of Carolingian origin).

There are three churches.

  • L’église de Saint-Julien de la Serre du XIIIe siècle . The thirteenth century church of Saint-Julien de la Serre .
  • L’église de Saint-Julien de la Serre du XIIIe siècle . The thirteenth century church of Saint-Julien de la Serre .
  • L’église de Saint-Julien de la Serre du XIIIe siècle . The thirteenth century church of Saint-Julien de la Serre .
  • L’église romane de Saint-Louis de Gandaille (XIIe siècle) renfermant de beaux reliquaires . The twelfth century Romanesque church of Saint-Louis of Gandaille with its beautiful reliquaries .
  • L’église romane de Saint-Louis de Gandaille (XIIe siècle) renfermant de beaux reliquaires . The twelfth century Romanesque church of Saint-Louis of Gandaille with its beautiful reliquaries .
  • L’église romane de Saint-Louis de Gandaille (XIIe siècle) renfermant de beaux reliquaires . The twelfth century Romanesque church of Saint-Louis of Gandaille with its beautiful reliquaries .
  • L’ église de Saint-Martin de Dondas (XVIe siècle) . The sixteenth century church of Saint-Martin de Dondas .
  • L’ église de Saint-Martin de Dondas (XVIe siècle) . The sixteenth century church of Saint-Martin de Dondas .
  • L’ église de Saint-Martin de Dondas (XVIe siècle) . The sixteenth century church of Saint-Martin de Dondas .

The Lords of Dondas

Two great families put their stamp on the seigneurial era of the commune.
The family of la Barrière, well established in Guyenne, bore arms for almost four centuries in the service of the kings of France.
According to the Chevalier de Courcelles (1823), the house of Vassal, one of the most important and widespread in Guyenne, originally came from Quercy.
In 1587, Bertrand de Vassal de la Tourette, Squire, Lord of Montviel and of Dondas, became the owner of the priory of Dondas by gift of the Chapter of Sarlat. In 1582 he married Françoise de la Barrière, Lady of Dondas, daughter of the noble Pierre de la Barrière, Squire and Lord of Dondas. More than two hundred years later, descendants of Bertrand de Vassal were still Lords of Dondas.