Cajarc is a village in the department of Lot in Occitania, located 45 km east of Cahors and 25 km west of Figeac.
The village has developed thanks to its geographical position, on the edge of the Lot, on a plateau dominated by causses.
Today, Cajarc has nearly 1,200 inhabitants. It is a commercial market town with service facilities (tertiary), but agricultural activity (breeding) nevertheless continues, as does the ancestral production of saffron.
The small town has also turned to tourism, especially since it is a step of choice on one of the most borrowed roads of Saint-Jacques (between Figeac and Cahors) and that it benefits from the proximity Of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (more than 500,000 annual visitors).
Already inhabited during the Roman period, the city took its rise in the fourteenth century thanks to the lord of Hebrard. A stronghold of Protestantism, its fortifications were razed by Richelieu in the 17th century, but the heart of the locality has preserved many ancient and picturesque dwellings. The tanneries and mills have disappeared, and on the Lot, the gabarres no longer sail. On the other hand, the watercourse is wide enough to become popular with boating enthusiasts.
Cajarc offers the visitor a built heritage of quality and a natural environment preserved.
Despite the historical vicissitudes, the center of Cajarc was rather spared and its visit allows to discover many old buildings.
This is the case of the Hebrardie (former palace of the lord Hebrard), dating from the fourteenth century. It was partially dismantled in the eighteenth century, but its dimensions testify to the power of the former master of the place. The windows on courtyard, in Gothic style, have been classified.
Now occupied by the Tourist Office, a neo-Gothic chapel (which succeeded a 14th-century church) is also worth seeing on the Boulevard du Tour de ville, which actually encloses the old districts of the area.
Also worth seeing is the church of St. Stephen: the first building of the thirteenth had thirteen altars and housed a major relic, a miraculous host (according to legend). The church was damaged during the capture of the city in 1574 and rebuilt after 1622.
In addition to numerous Romanesque and Renaissance houses, the Chapel of the Mariners, dedicated to Sainte-Marguerite, is also discovered: built in floodplain, its chevet is in the form of a bow, to cut the current of the water during Of floods. The convent of the Mirepoises (XVIIth century) formerly occupied by nuns in charge of the education of the girls, the present town hall, old grain market (XIXth) are also to be seen, as well as the bridge suspended on the Lot: The first bridge was demolished in 1340 during the Hundred Years War. Bins succeeded him until the present bridge was built. But the piers of the building of yesteryear are still visible when the river is very low...
For information on visiting the center, please call +33 5 65 40 72 89 (brochures available with fun quiz for children).
A stop at Cajarc also makes it possible to take advantage of the basin created in 1946 during the construction of a hydroelectric dam upstream of the city (2.5 km long by 100 m wide). It is suitable for the practice of water skiing (from May to October, information +33 6 29 62 00 21), jet-skiing, canoeing or rowing (information on +33 5 65 40 73 21).
For swimming, the outdoor swimming pool is also popular in summer (open in July and August, price 3 and 2 euros).
On the GR which takes again the ancient way of Santiago de Compostela or on the surrounding causses, many hiking trails are accessible from Cajarc. They are the occasion for some to discover some dolmens testifying of a human presence since Prehistory, the astonishing cascade of the Caougne (25 m high), or upstream of the city the leap of the Mounine, a point Overlooking the valley and meanders of Lot. For more information, call +33 (0) 5 65 40 72 89.
Finally, for the amateurs, a visit of the House of Arts Georges Pompidou, which houses a Center of Contemporary Art, is impossible to circumvent. In homage to the former head of state who owned a holiday home in Cajarc, there are exhibited works of young artists in residence. Admission: 4 euros. Information on +33 5 65 40 78 19.
In another register, the former railway station houses a railway museum (models). Open from early July to mid-September. Free admission. For further information, please call +33 5 65 40 62 92.
The last weekend of February is organized the festival "La BD takes the air", dedicated to the comic strip (meetings with authors, exhibitions, animations).
Over four days, at the end of July, the Africajarc festival offers concerts, exhibitions and other animations on the theme of Africa. An appointment that attracts an extremely numerous public in the small town. Information on +33 5 65 40 29 86.
Finally, every Saturday afternoon, a market takes place in the center, conducive to the discovery of the local terroir. Open to non-food products, fairs are also organized on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, in the morning.