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Tourist Sites in and around Sarlat

Tourist sites and attractions within a radius of km* from the city center

* The distances are point to point and not driving distances!

Mysterious At around: 0.25 km

La Lanterne des Morts The "Lanterne des Morts" - The Dead Souls' Flashlight- cone topped cylindrical building is located next to a little old cemetery - templar according to some opinions - on the east side of the Saint Sacerdos Cathedral of Sarlat.
The structure was built in the 12th century.
Its role has defied historians.
Some believe that it was used in olden time as literally a "flashlight" for the guidance of the souls of the deceased buried in the cemetery.
According to another legend Bernard de Clairvaux - a leading figure of the Cistercian religious order - passing through Sarlat in August 1147, on his return from the Albigensian crusade, found the town in the grip of the plague. He...

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At around: 0.89 km

Sarlat - Old Town Sarlat, the American writer Henry Miller was fascinated by the town, calling it the "paradise of France".
With a population of just under 10,000 inhabitants Sarlat is situated in the department of Dordogne region Aquitaine of the South West of France. It is the "capital" of the old region of Perigord Noir. The little town has however 74 buildings on the register of historic monuments and in on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage.
Sarlat grew around the Benedictine abbey where the relics of Saint Sacerdos were kept - the nowadays Sarlat Cathedral is still Saint Sacerdos Cathedral!
The 100 Year War waged from 1337 to 1453 between the...

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At around: 1.77 km

Marqueyssac Gardens The most visited gardens in Dordogne.The gardens offers 6 km of walking paths and an exceptional panorama of Dordogne valley. All Thursdays evenings during the months of July and August the gardens,opened to th public until midnight, are splendidly illuminated by 2,000 candles, that give a magical feel to the place....
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At around: 6.7 km

Puymartin Castle Situated at around 30Km from Sarlat-La-Caneda on the road to Les Eyzies - the home of National Prehistory Museum - the castle of Puymartin draws your attention with its crenelated towers.
The castle was built around 1270 by the Sarlat abbots but destroyed completely towards the end of the Hundred Year War (1358).
The castle was rebuilt by Radulphe de Saint-Clar in 1450 and was used by his grandson Raymond de Saint-Clar as a headquarter for his fight against the protestants in the Wars of Religion of the 16th century.
At the time of the French Revolution its owner François Roffignac de Carbonnier de Marzac is put in jail and the castle is abandoned.
Only at the end of the...

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At around: 7.76 km

La Roque-Gageac village Member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" association la Roque-Gageac village is situated at 8 km of Sarlat.
The small village built against a steep cliff that descends to Dordogne river is still dominated by the Tarde manor tower - former property of Tarde family whose member Jean Tarde was a the chaplain and friend of King Henry IV and friend of Galilee from whom Tarde receives the first telescope of Perigord.
The little church carved into the stone in the 14the century is located next to an exotic garden - that takes advantage of the natural hot house conditions of the south exposed cliffs - where one can admire all year long Lemon, Banana and Pomegranate ...

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At around: 8.11 km

Beynac Village and Castle Beynac Castle is situated in the 'Beynac-et-Cazenac' village which is a member of "Plus Beaux Villages de France" association. The castle origins are not exactly known - but possibly it dates from the 8th century when a fortress was built on the location.
The castle that can be seen today was mainly built in 12th century by the Beynac family and it became the seat of one of the four baronies of Perigord. Its location is almost surprising for the modern eye: it sits atop of a calcareous cliff that descends abruptly to the Dordogne river.
In nine centuries of history Beynac castle had many owners the most famous being the English king Richard the Lion Heart and Simon de Monfort...

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At around: 9.56 km

The Gardens Of Eyrignac Manor One of the most beautiful gardens in France and recognized by the Ministry of Culture as "Remarcable Garden". The initial garden was designed in the 18th century as a "Jardin a la Français" - type of symmetrical garden first designed by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV. The garden, with its more then 300 green sculptures spread on 10 hectares, is considered the most beautiful in Perigord and it has been in the same family for 22 generations....
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Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 9.83 km

Domme Hilltop Village Domme, member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" association is a medieval village fortified by the King Philippe III in 1280 during the last years of the Cathare crusade.
Between the years 1307 and 1318 some parts of the fortification were used as a prison for around 70 Templars. Their writings on the prison walls are still visible today in the two entrance towers.
Domme village offers also an exceptional panorama of the Dordogne valley and meander bend of Montfort....

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At around: 9.96 km

Castelnau Castle Like the majority of medieval castle Castelnau is perched on the top of the hill, in its case overlooking the Dordogne.
Its first structure was built in the 12th century.
During the cathar crusade, the castle belonging at the time to Bernard de Casnac, a cathar sympathizer, was partially destroyed by the armies of Simon de Montfort, who for a short time took possession of it.
Towards the end of the crusade the castle was burned down, by the order of the Bishop of Bordeaux Guillaume Amanieu de Genève, but shortly rebuilt.
The square keep that can be still seen today dates from the 13th century.
During the Hundread Years War between France and England the castle changes sides...

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At around: 10.83 km

Fenelon Castle Fenelon Castle is a feudal fortress that overlooks the Dordogne and Bouriane valleys.
It preserves intact all its defensive system as well as its original stone roofs.
The castle, a private property that can be visited and is still inhabited by its owners, features important collections of furniture, art and ancient weapons dating from the Middle Ages until Napoleon times.
There is also a "curiosities" room that presents all kind of believed legendary objects: a giant's tooth, a small piece of the Trojan horse, centaur hoof etc.
The oldest vestiges of the castle belong to the 13th century. The castle played its role in the Cathare Crusade , the Hundread Year War and the Religious...

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At around: 15.48 km

Roque Saint-Christophe Roque Saint-Christophe is a kilometer long, sixty meters high limestone cliff.
It is located in the town of Peyzac-le-Moustier near the town of Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, France.
Over time the frost and the water have dug numerous rock shelters and long terraces in the calcareous sides of the Dordogne's mild cliffs - and Roque Saint-Christophe was one of them.
These natural cavities have served as shelters for the Prehistoric humans as long ago as the 55,000 before present (BP).
In the more recent centuries of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the caves were used as fortified refuges for the local population as was the case during the Hundred Years War of the 14th and the 15th century and...

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UNESCO World Heritage At around: 16.29 km

Prehistoric Sites of the Vézère Valley The prehistoric sites on the Vézère River valley are, due to their outstanding historic and artistic value, listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage list. For more the information and a map of the most important sites please go to: Prehistoric sites of Vézère River valley...
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At around: 16.62 km

Commarque Castle Commarque Castle is now a romantic ruin that dominates the valley of Beune.
The site is a repository of layers of archaeological traces that date since 100,000 years ago. For at the feet of the the medieval fortress there is a neolithic troglodytic village that was build on top of prehistoric caves that still preserve carved animals on the walls, including a beautiful life-sized horse (the cave is not open to the public).
In the 12th century the castle was donated by its owner of the time Gerard de Comarque, at his departure to a crusade, to the Templars.
The castle was abandoned in 16th century and only in 1970 its actual owner Hubert de Commarque decided to buy the...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 18.44 km

Lascaux Caves Lascaux Cave was discovered in September 1940 by a mechanic apprentice called Marcel Ravidat.
He and three other youngsters from the village of Montignac descended in the cave on the 12 of September 1940 and were the first visitors of the modern times to see the paintings left by the Cro-Magnon human (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) - the anatomically modern humans - who came to Europe between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago in an age called Upper Paleolithic!
In 1950 Lascaux Cave was one of the first archaeological sites to use the new - at the time! - dating technique of Carbon 17, and its artifacts were date more precisely to around 17,000 years BC.
Due to the quantity and the quality...

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At around: 19.17 km

The village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly The history of Saint-Amand-de-Coly member of the prestigious association "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" is the history of Saint Amand and of the fortified Abbey.
According to the legend Saint-Amand-de-Coly village is situated on the place where in the 6th century AD, a young aristocrat called Amand chose to live a hermit's life in a cave at the foot of the hill.
The young eremite preaches the word of God to the peasants from the villages around, peasants who declare him a saint.
Saint Amand dies at the end of the 6th century. On the site of his modest refuge a monastery is built and a villages is born.
The abbey that can be viewed...

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At around: 21.03 km

Belvès Belves the medieval town so called of the 7 bell towers is a member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" organization.
The written history of Belvès starts in the 9th century - even though the region was inhabited since antiquity - when a monastery is built of the site of the actual Notre Dame de Montcuq church. In the 11th century the village is fortified - from the old fortifications there still exist one of the gates and the tower of the "Auditeur".
During the Franco-English wars that followed the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to King Henry II Plantagenet for the supremacy over Aquitaine Belves was one of the important points of conflict and did change hands several times.
One of...

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At around: 25.67 km

Limeuil Limeuil village stands out not only as one of the member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" but through its history. One of the most remarkable points of interest of Perigord is Limeuil old parish church.
Situated near the entrance in the village, this simple style chapel was built in 1194 on the order of King Richard 1st the Lionheart. It is dedicated - as written on one of the stone tablets still preserved on the left interior wall and that was laid on the 30th of January 1194 - to many saints including Thomas Becket, described as Archbishop and Martyr, the priest killed by Richard's father King Henry II.
The second church of the village is the Saint Catherine church...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 28.27 km

Cadouin Abbey Cadouin Abbey was founded in 1115 initially as a simple hermitage by Géraud de Salles. The church, the sacristy and the foundations of the rest of the convent building date from that time.
In 1119 the hermitage becomes one of the first monasteries affiliated to the Cistercian order as a new branch springing from the Pontigny abbey, the Cistercian order being a tree like organization.
The Cistercian order is a Catholic monastic order, which originated with the foundation of the Citeaux abbey by Robert de Molesme in 1098. It is an order that preaches the living rules of Saint Benedict that imply asceticism and liturgical rigor - 7 prayer times per day - centered around manual work as...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 33.37 km

The village of Rocamadour Rocamadour is a medieval village and a pilgrimage location declared in 2008 one of the Great Sites of Midi-Pyrenees ("Grand Site Midi-Pyrénées"). The Sanctuary is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Perched on a cliff above the canyon of the little river L'Alzou, Rocamoadour is together with Eiffel Tower, Mount Saint Michel, Carcassonne fortified city and the Versailles one of the most visited tourist sites of France.
Rocamdaour is described in a local Occitan language saying as "Lous oustals sul riou, las gleisas sus oustls, lous rocs sus las gleisas, lou castel sul roc" a colorful yet exact description of the town that translates: "The houses above the river, the churches above the houses, the rocks above the churches,...

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Plus Beau Village de France At around: 34.28 km

Monpazier Situated on the road linking Agen to Sarlat at 50km (31mi) south west of Sarlat, Monpazier is not only one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" ("Plus Beaux Villages de France") but also a "Grand Site National" and the most beautiful and best preserved bastide of the south west France.
Monpazier bastide was built in 1284 through the common initiative of King Edward I of England (at the time the region was under English rule) and Pierre de Gontaut, seigneur de Biron, his vassal. One of the around 300 bastides founded in southwest of France in the same late Middle Age period, and among the first to be built - Cordes, now the town of Cordes-sur-Ciel, built in 1222...

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At around: 39.58 km

Château Biron - The Haunted Castle This impressive 1000 year old castle was initially in the possession of the Gontaut-Birons - one of the most powerful noble family of the old Perigord.
In the 12th century it became the seat of one of the 4 baronies of Perigord.
During the crusade against the cathars it was occupied in 1212 by Simon de Montfort who took it from its owner Gaston de Gontaunt a heretic supporter. The 100 Years' War saw the castle passing constantly from French side and English and back.
Since 1978 is the property of the department of Dordogne.
In its complex architecture it reflects the different historical periods it witnessed.
The legend says that the castle is haunted by one of its former owners Charles de...

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At around: 40.86 km

Carennac Carennac is a little - population 370! - Medieval village member of the "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" organization.
The village that in ancient times was called Carendenacus was formed around a Cluniac church. Under the protection of its Cluny "mother" monastery the Carennac church is in the 11th century elevated to the rang of a priory and its church is rebuilt in a Romanesque style. In the 12th century the church is enlarged and a cloister is built. From this initial cloister only the gallery attached to the church survives, the other 3 galleries being rebuilt in the 15th century in a gothic flamboyant style.
Another interesting attraction of Carennac is Doyens Castle - chateau des Doynes - a...

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At around: 41.24 km

Hautefort Castle and Gardens With its classical elegant architecture, its splendid 17th and 18th centuries furniture collection, the "a la française" gardens and English style park the Hautefort Castle and its surroundings constitute a site unique in Perigord, a compound that looks like having been moved here from the famous Loire valley.
The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the village of Hautefort (It is easily accessible by car via a departmental road!).
The origins of the castle can be traced to 12th century when its place was occupied by a fortress owned by the famous bellicose troubadour Bertran de Born - The Viscount of Hautefort whom Dante Alighieri portrays the "Inferno" carrying his decapitated head like a torch.

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At around: 42.79 km

Chasm of Padirac The Chasm of Padirac, located in the Lot department of south west of France, is one of the most interesting geological sites of France.
The chasm is one of the entrances into a 40km long network of caves - one of the 100 longest underground galleries in the world.
The bottom of the chasm was used as a refuge during the Hundred Years Wars (1337 - 1453) and the Religious Wars (1562-1598) in France but it seems that it was only in the late nineteenth century , following a violent surge of the underground river , a practicable communication was opened between the bottom of chasm and the underground galleries.
Today the visitor is taken by an elevator (or by stairs)...

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At around: 43.52 km

Puy l'Évêque Puy l'Eveque, population 2178, is a picturesque little village situated on a hill overlooking the river Lot.
The name of the village Puy l'Eveque comes from its geographical position on a hilltop, "puy" coming from the Celtic word "puech" that means an elevated location, and the name Eveque was added in the 13th century when the Bishop of Cahors (eveque is the French for bishop) took possession of the village whose Senior of the time became a cathar sympathizer.
In the 14th and the 15th century the village is devastated by the constant fighting between the English and French during the Hundred Year Wars.
During the religious wars the village was attacked and was able to fend off the army of Huguenots led...

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At around: 44.96 km

Gavaudun Fortress The Gavaudan castle is now a ruin that reminds the traveler of the times when it was guarding the passage between the Perigord and Agen regions.
The castle was initially built in the 11th century and was inhabited in the 12th century by the Henriciens - a group of heretics called this way after their leader Henri l'Ermite.
To eradicate this heresy the bishop of Perigueux Jean d'Assida besieged the castle and after taking it in 1165 gave the order of its destruction.
In 1314 Alsmunstang de Valens rebuilt the castle and added the 20.80 meters high keep.
Throughout the centuries the castle belonged to several prominent families of the South West of France....

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At around: 46.44 km

Loubressac Lubressac is one of the most beautiful villages of France ("Les Plus Beaux Villages de France"). This medieval fortified village sits on the top of a promontory overlooking the confluence of four rivers: Dordogne, Cere and Bave Mamoul.
From its highest point the village offers a wonderful panorama of the surrounding region. The site of Loubressac was inhabited since Gallo-Roman times. During Middle Ages the village and its region were under the lordship of Géraud d'Aurillac, later canonized as Saint Géraud.
In 1363 the region becomes the barony of Adhémar d'Aigrefeuille.
The Saint Jean Baptiste church of Loubressac was initially built in the 14th century but later rebuilt in the 16th century. It has a large arched vaulted nave with four side chapels....

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At around: 47.83 km

Bonaguil Castle Laurence of Arabia described it in 1908 "Its so perfect it seems ridiculous to call it a ruin". Bonaguil castle sits perched on a hill overlooking the Theze and Lémance rivers valleys. The castle was initially built in the 13th century but extensively overhauled in the 15th, 16th and 18th century. It is a live representation of the evolution of the defense architecture throughout the centuries.
The castle is first mentioned in a document dating from 1271 when it was in the property of King Philippe III Le Hardi.
The most important reconstruction phase in the history of the castle took part in the life of Bérenger de Roquefeuil (1448-1530) the landlord who dedicated 30 years of his life to make Bonaguil the legendary...

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