Built in 1776, this building was originally part of the well known Theulier familiy’s estate. It first became a hotel in 1896 – The Hôtel De France- having been a coaching inn, tax collecting office, bank and private residence. It was reopened as a hotel in 1977.The hotel takes its name from both the Franco-Russian Alliance, celebrated at the end of the 19th century and the fact that the Château in Thiviers was the « Grand Hôtel de Russie » for several years at the end of the 19th century.Click any image to enlarge.
The Franco Russian Alliance was signed in 1897 in Paris by Tsar Alexander III but had, in fact, been secretly negotiated and drawn up in 1893 by his loyal Aide de Camp and Chief of Staff, Général Nikolai Obroutcheff who was resident in the Dordogne.In the latter half of the 19th century, Thiviers was most popular with the Russians, particularly the military, as it was renowned for its huge fairs marketing cattle, truffles and walnuts. They were also attracted by the Périgord cuisine blending noble delicacies, like truffles and foie gras with simpler easily available treats such as the highly prized cèpe mushroom, duck, goose, lamb, Limousin beef and goat’s cheeses.Indeed the monopoly for the official provision of foie gras et pâtés truffés to the Court in St Petersburgh was held by a producer from Thiviers- a Thibérien!