Cahors – Country Roads of France
We were told that Cahors is famous for truffles and that got our excitement up. We were fortunate to arrive in this little town when the Saturday morning market was on. French markets are great to walk through as you inevitably get to see and smell an amazing range of cheeses, sausages and other regional delicacies. Although we don’t eat meat, our favourite stall was a sausage stand where the vendor had decorative miniature model pigs, goats etc amongst the sausages. Cahors is also famous for its ‘black wine’ and this we did see a lot in the market, no truffles though. It was a bit early for wine-tasting, but that didn’t stop some!
Behind the narrow streets of Cahors’ Old Town you’ll find the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne, the first church in France to have cupolas. The cathedral dates back to 1119 and has some fine medieval details.
Cahors’ main street is the boulevard Gambetta. The town’s most notable citizen, Leon Gambetta, was a French republican statesman who helped direct the defence of France during the Franco-German War of 1870-71. Gambetta was very influential politically and played a pivotal role in transforming the post-war regime into a parliamentary republic. For a brief couple of months he was premier of France in 1881, but died at the end of 1882.
If you walk through the narrow streets and then along the river Lot, you’ll still see buildings with medieval doors, balconies and arches. Cahors’ landmark monument is the Pont Valentre, a fortified bridge spanning the river Lot. The bridge has seven pointed arches and three towers and is a breathtaking sight. No wonder it holds the reputation of being one of the most photographed monuments in France, and we certainly took our share of pix.