Sarlat a Window on Medieval Dordogne

Sarlat a Window on Medieval Dordogne, Sarlat-la-Caneda, France (B)

Boutiques filled with shiny objects, and a congested ring road of honking diesel trucks and cars. These are the modern-day realities in a large Dordogne town of 9,300 residents. The town bustles with over 1.5 million visitors a year yet the ancient core of historical Sarlat provides some instant reprieve, begging you to step back in time.

Sarlat was fortunate to receive the first round of French state funding in 1962, for restoration work, to preserve its historical buildings. Over fifty years later, the old town is essentially pedestrian only, allowing tourists the opportunity to visit the medieval buildings and Renaissance structures unencumbered by cars. In reality, Sarlat is considerably cleaner than it would have been in an era when animal husbandry and human waste intermingled its twisted, unpaved streets.

Today, Sarlat has the highest percentage of heritage monuments per square kilometre in Europe. The Saint-Sacerdos cathedral is the bulls-eye of Sarlat, a Gothic style church that took half a century to complete. A Benedictine abbey was the first religious structure on the site. The long passage of time is evidenced by the gravestones carved into a semi-circular stonewall adjacent to the church. Tombs dating from Roman days can be found in this old cemetery, the area is called Jardin des Enfeus. It was the first cemetery of Sarlat. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Guide Name: Sarlat a Window on Medieval Dordogne
Guide Location: France » Sarlat-la-Caneda
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Carolyne Kauser-abbott
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Saint-Sacerdos cathedral
  • Jardin des Enfeus
  • Lanterne des Morts
  • Place de la Liberté
  • city hall