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La Lanterne des Morts


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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 managed to cure many by giving them blessed bread. To show their gratitude the Sarladaises built him this monument that in truth is also - but less - known as Saint Bernard tower.

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