Pont Valentre at Cahors

Cahors travel guide

About Cahors

Cahors in the Midi-Pyrénées is the home of black wine from the malbec grape and is uniquely built on a twist in the River Lot.

A small and intimate city squeezed onto a peninsula of the river when it loops back on itself, Cahors is well-known for its famous bridge, the Pont Valentré, built as a fortification in the 14th century. Made up of 6 arches, 2 three-storey square towers and 2 castles at either end, the Valentré bridge was restored in the late 1800s by Paul Gout who added an image of the Devil in reference to Cahors' dubious claim to fame as a town mentioned alongside Sodom in Milton's Dante's Inferno as a place of sin. The city is now recognised as a 'Ville d'Art et d'Histoire', a town of art and history, but Cahors' real reputation is as a wine producing area that has been known for its wines since the reign of Francois I. Specialising in rich, full-bodied red wines from at least 70% malbec grapes, Cahors is surrounded by vineyards, with châteaux peppered around the countryside.

Inside Cahors there is also much to see with a glorious Old Town of narrow streets and medieval houses where you'll find the Cathédrale St Etienne, a great example of the merging of Flamboyant Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. Explore the museums of Cahors for an insight into the past with the Museum of the Resistance and the Museum of Henri Martin, where you can see works by the Pointillist painter as well as temporary exhibitions. Discover more of Cahors with a tour or take the little train that goes through the city streets. Or why not have a ride in a carriage pulled by a donkey or a dinner cruise down the river? With lots of excellent public gardens, all given 'jardin remarquable' status you can follow a trail of these 'secret gardens', showcasing some wonderful horticulture as well as taking you past all the main sights of the city.

Don't miss a tour of the vineyards to see how and where the delicious Cahors wines are made and aged. There is much to explore in the countryside with 28 guided trails and heritage walks, some of which finish with a wine tasting. Cahors has a wonderful gourmet market on Wednesdays and Saturdays outside of the cathedral where you can try some of the wonderful local flavours. Local specialities are truffles, foie gras, lamb and, of course, the Cahors wine.

OVERVIEW

  • Country: France

  • Region: Midi-Pyrénées

  • Department: Lot

  • Population: 23,000

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