Domme is a bastide village. Bastides are ancient fortresses that have a strategic location. These fortresses were walled cities and often the walls or parts of them are still present today. Another characteristic of a bastide is that it has a regular street pattern of straight streets so the blocks of houses are arranged in squares. With Domme, this was not always possible because it was built on a hill and a rocky cliff. In this case, the landscape did not allow for such a tight floor plan. The walls of a bastide village contain entrance gates, which is also the case at Domme. Often only remnants remain if anything at all. At Domme, the gates are still in very good condition.
The centre of the village is the village square. In many places, the church is the centre of the village square. This is not the case in Domme, where the seventeenth-century market hall is the central place. This is because the market hall had two functions. This is where the market was held AND it is the access point to the Domme caves that lie beneath the village. In times of war, this cave was an additional hiding place for the inhabitants of Domme. The cave also holds water, very important in times of war. Led by a guide, you can admire the stalactites (stalagmites and stalagtites). Bones of bison and mammoths are also visible.