A maze of meandering medieval streets and 15th-century timber-framed houses make up the heart of Issigeac, the village in which the academy is based.
Renowned throughout the South West of France, Issigeac is known as ‘ La Perle du Perigord’ because of the almost perfectly round shape formed by its ancient stone ramparts which date from the 1200s.
For centuries the village was a major centre of religious life as the summer residence of the Bishops of Sarlat, for whom a fine palace and church, tax, legal and administrative buildings were constructed in the Renaissance period, many of them now listed as historic
Today Issigeac is a thriving hub of community life. Its Sunday market, active since the 1280s, was recently voted the best in Aquitaine and 7th overall in the whole of France.
The village boasts five restaurants serving haute cuisine as well as a plethora of cafes and bars. Recent years have seen a spate of artisanal and artistic enterprises open shop including art galleries, a pottery, glass blowing, fashion boutiques, interior design and cardboard sculptor, all making the village a thriving tourism destination.
La Maison des Services, Issigeac
While the village of Issigeac can trace its name back to the Roman villa of Sedius, it hasn’t let the grass grown under its feet. In 2019 a brand-new Maison des Services was opened as a new community centre and the IIMA able to use is superb facilities in our inaugural year for both tuition and concerts. We continue to do so in grateful partnership with the Commune of Issigeac and the Communauté des Communes du Sud Perigord.
Eglise de Saint-Félicien, Issigeac.
Built in late Gothic style by a relative of the Duke of Biron between 1488 – 1527
Issigeac’s church is somewhat larger than might be expected for a small village, because of its importance to the bishopric of Sarlat. It underwent a major restoration in 1871 when new stained glass windows were installed. A number of polychrome 17th C wooden statues are still to be seen, along with two bas reliefs by Pierre Mignard from the same period.
The IIMA can hold concerts in the church thanks to the permission of the Paroisse de Saint Martin des Vignes.
Le Manoir du Suquet
Set in lovely grounds with a swimming pool and tennis court the Manoir du Suquet is the IIMA’s accommodation partner and has been a regular host for our courses. The manoir is just 4 kilometres from Issigeac itself and dates from the 18th century. It has six independent gîtes that can be used for guest accommodation and a fine 18th-century barn for tuition and small concerts. More information can be found on its website.