Saint-Cirq Villiage, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Midi-Pyrenees, France
The medieval town of Saint-Cirq Lapopie, with thirteen listed historic buildings, is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Perched on a cliff three hundred feet above the river Lot, St. Cirq Lapopie is one of the most important sites in the Lot Valley.
Chief town of one of three viscounties of Quercy, Saint-Cirq Lapopie was divided among several feudal dynasties in the Middle Ages whose dominant families were the Lapopies, the Gourdons and the Cardaillacs. As a result, several castles and fortified houses were built, each ever stronger, dominating the feudal village.
Below the fortress, the village of St Cirq, enclosed by fortified gates, includes many beautiful old houses whose facades of stone or wood were built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. They are characterised by their steep-sloped, flat tile roofs.
In the streets, open arcades of shops preserve the memory of craft activities that created the wealth of St. Cirq. Skinners in the rue de la Pelissaria, coppersmiths in rue Peyrolerie and especially wood turners or roubinetaïres, with workshops producing button moulds, bowls, cups and cooper’s taps.
At the foot of Lapopie, mills, dams, ports, locks and a towpath evoke the glorious age of river commerce.
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