content="The Meta Maker Wizard - © Pixel Persuasion" /> Rocamadour 1

- Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne -

Rocamadour 1

LINKS to other pages in the Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Home Page
2 : Introduction (Hotels etc.)
3 : Albi
4 : Najac
5 : Cordes Sur Ciel
6 : Bruniquel
7 : St Antonin Noble Val
8 : Gaillac Vineyard
9 : Castres
10 : Carcassonne
11 : St Cirq Lapopie
12 : Rocamadour
13 : Sarlat
14 : La Roque Gageac
15 : Cahors
16 : Guest Book:

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ROCAMADOUR: Legend has it that the history of Rocamadour began with the arrival of Zacchaeus a disciple of Jesus and husband of St Veronica who wiped the sweat from Jesus's face on his way to Calvary. They fled to France to escape religious persecution and lived out his last years here as a hermit. When in 1166 a perfectly preserved body was found in a grave high up on the rock, it was declared to be that of Zacchaeus who loved the rock (roc amator) and later became known as St Amadour.

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A view of Rocamadour from the terrace at l'Hospitalet - more correctly, Hôpital St-Jean.  (Above and Right).
The Alzou river winds its way at the bottom of the gorge. The small town of Rocamadour lies some 500 metres above the river attached precariously to the cliff face.

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Unfortunately, many religious wars laid waste to the shrines and only in the 17th century was a new set of liturgical artifacts amassed. In the 19th century, a book on the history of Rocamadour by Abbé Caillau in 1842 revived the pilgrimage processes.

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A view of the main street of Rocamadour, Rue de la Couronnerie, through the Porte Salmon.

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Progress along the Rue de la Couronnerie to...

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...the Place de Carretta from where the Grande Escalier (Great Stairway) to the churches starts.

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The first 141 steps lead to terraces originally housed occupied by residences, now converted to shops, for the canons. A further 75 steps lead to the Ecclesiastical City. (In older times pilgrims kneeled at every step on the ascent.)

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Seventeen steps lead to the Miraculous Chapel of Our Lady, the 'holy of holies' of Rocamadour. The statue of the miraculous Virgin, who is seated with the infant Jesus, is thought to date from the 9th century. The walnut base is covered with silver, blackened in parts from the smoke of altar candles and natural oxidation.

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The visit to Rocamadour continues on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).

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