A few years ago I was able to spend a few days in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France, specifically Cahors and Rocamadour. I remember being amazed at the beauty of my surroundings as we drove through the countryside. As my eyes fell on beautiful village after beautiful village I found myself wondering why the area is not more popular with American tourists. I also vowed I would return one day to spend more time exploring this beautiful region of France!
Today we’re discovering a European village from the Midi-Pyrénées region, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie!
In an area known for chateaux, prehistoric caves, scenic villages, truffles, lazy rivers and the almost black Cahors wine you will find Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
Known as one of France’s most beautiful villages, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie rests precariously on a rocky outcrop high above the river Lot in Southwest France. Its situation along the river offers stunning views but also provided a great defense protecting the village from many battles that have taken place in the area including an unsuccessful attack in 1199 by Richard the Lionheart.
During medieval times, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie was home to four important families each of which has left their mark on this beautiful village. This is also the reason there have been many chateaux and churches in the village. Remaining today are 3 chateaux and a Gothic church, dating back to the 15th century, with an amazing view over the Lot river valley.
Like Rocamadour, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is on a pilgrimage path leading to the Santiago de Compostela which is also the reason for its popularity during medieval times. Today, the entrance to the village is still via the medieval stone wall and gate.
Wandering the village visitors will see houses dating back to medieval times many of which still bear the steep tile roofs. Some are made from stone found in the region and others are constructed in the half-timbered style.
Arriving at Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is almost as wonderful as the village. The road meanders along the Lot River before rising up to display the pastoral countryside of the region. The surroundings of the village are as dramatic and beautiful as the village which makes Saint-Cirq-Lapopie dazzling no matter which direction you look!
Do you enjoy wandering small European villages?