Saint-Cirq Lapopie is a commune in the Lot region of Occitania, 30 km east of Cahors.
The territory of the locality, vast of about 18 km ², culminates at 389 m of altitude, the village itself overhanging the course of the Lot towards which the walker can descend via a pleasant route. However, from the shore, the climb to the heart of the town requires some effort!
Member of the association of the Most beautiful villages of France, designated "favorite village of the French" on France 2 in 2012, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie was inhabited since the Gallo-Roman but develops in the Middle Ages, then belonging to the family of Cardaillac (XIII). The small seigniory enjoys it is true of an ideal location on this spur which dominates the valley, but it is soon divided between different families. This is not without effect during the Hundred Years War and then the Wars of Religion. Castles or strongholds were destroyed at the end of these troubles.
Also on the way to Saint-Jacques, the village was then seat of one of the viscounts of Quercy. Until the early twentieth century, the economy is linked to neighboring forests and vineyards of the Lot, and the locality has many wood turners who manufacture barrel taps. Although there are now only about 200 permanent inhabitants against a thousand in the nineteenth century, the village has retained a certain charm with its medieval houses, its cultural vitality and its magnificent views from the village that seems hooked on the rock. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie where the poet André Breton resided in the summer, and where he declared "cease to desire elsewhere", is an essential step during a stay in the region.
In summer, where there are some 500 000 visitors from June to September, when parked on one of the many parking lots around the village, the easiest way is to start visiting Saint-Cirq-Lapopie by the upper streets.
The historic heart is fully pedestrianized, allowing stroll through alleys, squares and cobbled streets (be careful, some are steep). Many homes cantilevered date of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, with sloping roofs. All the charm of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is to have preserved its authenticity and picturesque character, although pleasant craft shops, several shops and art galleries dot the center of the small town.
Note incidentally that the whole village is classified and protected as historical monuments.
For a view of the valley and the limestone plateaus in the distance, do not hesitate to visit the platform on top of the ruins of the medieval castle: a viewpoint is appointed, and the views are there without equal.
Going down a step is necessary at the Saint-Cirq Church and St. Julitta, dating mainly from the sixteenth century. Note that it has retained a Romanesque apse, while the adjacent bases of an ancient tower and a turret.
Slightly below, is the House Breton House Rignault, the name of a collector and enthusiast of modern art, who donated it to the noble medieval origin but rebuilt building, the department. It has a pleasant garden. Exhibitions dedicated to the Surrealist poet André Breton and are offered each year.
Another place not to be missed, the house Daura, the name of a Catalan artist who lived there before the second war. This magnificent building which was a hospice in the Middle Ages now hosts "International House of Artists" (reserved for young painters, sculptors, video artists), all managed by La Maison des Arts Georges and Claude Pompidou Cajarc. Open daily in summer. Free entry. Information +33 5 65 40 78 19.
We will not forget the old hostel of the Mariners in the bottom of the village, which was acquired in 1950 by the surrealist poet André Breton who spent her vacation every summer until his death in 1966. Now owned by the municipality, labeled "Home of the Famous", the site is dedicated to poetry and open all year round and especially in summer poetry readings and exhibitions related to surrealism.
Guided tours of the village are offered in season. Otherwise, the tour guides are available at the Tourist Office. Information at +33 5 65 31 31 31.
For hiking enthusiasts, many circuits are accessible from the city or passing through, beginning with the tow path dug into the cliff in the direction of Cahors, and include the small Holy Cross chapel (XIX) in the hills the lookout Bancourel, or sluice Aulanac, riverside. Maps and information +33 5 65 31 31 31.
After visiting this heritage jewel or a hike, noted finally that one can take a break freshness in the Lot. A beach is equipped below the village, dedicated to relaxation or swimming (supervised in July and August). Information +33 5 65 30 29 51.
On the same site, a club invites you to discover these landscapes in a singular way through rides canoeing.