464km (288 miles) SE of Paris; 35km (22 miles) NE of Lyon
Pérouges is a medieval village that begs to be photographed. Saved from demolition by a courageous mayor in 1909 and preserved by the government, this thousand-person village of craftspeople has often attracted movie crews: “The Three Musketeers” (1961), “Monsieur Vincent” (1947) and “The Advocate”(1993) have all been filmed here. The town sits on what has been called an “isolated throne,” atop a hill northeast of Lyon. Tourism has caused excessive prices in local restaurants so consider taking a picnic instead.
Wander down the rue des Princes to place des Tilleuls where you’ll find the Arbre de la Liberté (Tree of Liberty) planted in 1792 to commemorate the Revolution. Nearby the 14th-century Maison des Princes de Savoie, houses the Musée du Vieux-Pérouges ([tel] 04-74-61-00-88) with its panoramic watchtower and perfectly tended 13th-century knot garden. The museum is open June to August daily 10am to noon and 2 to 6pm; off season, weekends 10am to noon and 2 to 6pm. Admission is 4€ for adults, free for children ages 10 and under.