St Cirq Lapopie 1

- Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne -

St Cirq Lapopie 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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THE VILLAGE OF ST CIRQ LAPOPIE is situated one hundred metres above the Lot river on the top of a cliff. The name commemorates the martydom of St Cyr who was killed with his mother in Asia Minor during the reign of the emperor, Diocletian.

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A pause in our journey to photograph the village from a nearby hillside viewpoint  (Right and Below)

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In the Middle Ages, Saint Cirq Lapopie was the main town of one of the four viscountcies that made up Quercy. It was divided between four feudal dynasties, the Lapopies (who gave their name to the castle), Gourdons, Cardaillacs and Castelnaus. The village was dominated by a fortress which dated from the 8th century.

In 1198 the fortress failed to be taken by Richard Lionheart. And the English in the 100 years war were also unable to take it. Louis XI decredd that the castle be demolished but the remnants continued to be of strategic importance during the Wars of Religion. Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IV) had the remaining walls pulled down in 1580.

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"Climb to the ruined castle at the top of the town and look down on the amazingly intact 15th-century village. Stone houses topped with steep brown-tiled roofs and pierced with mullioned windows press up against narrow streets and the town's fine church."

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"It is no wonder that this town, its architecture now protected by law, has drawn an interested crowd since surrealist painter André Breton "discovered" it decades ago. Today artists and artisans have reclaimed and carefully renovated its houses, turning them into studios and workspaces."

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"Look again and catch the sight of the Lot, far below your ancient rock perch, as the calm river meanders across dappled fields and forests of emerald green."

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Beneath the Saint Cirq Lapopie cliff there are watermills, weirs, harbours, locks and towpaths that recall the days when river transport was the a prominent feature of Lot Valley life.  (Left and Below)

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

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