September 6, 2013

Medieval Cities and Castles

Sarlat at night

Yesterday, I was in Sarlat, tonight in Carennac. Days so full, with so many new places visited, so much history ... I hardly know what to write. Perhaps I will make some posts mostly of pictures, hoping to actually write something with more text after returning home.

I will tell you a few things, the first of which will make some people who know me well laugh, copy down the next four words, and date it. It has been hot. Actually hot, not warm. I see temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s in the shade. No idea what it is in the sun. But I do know that riding on asphalt in the sun has been hot in the afternoon. Very hot. Remind me sometime cold.

Sarlat-le-Caneda is an extremely well-preserved 14th century city, (now surrounded by a modern city) preserved in part through being ignored and neglected, and then through the efforts of the great André Malraux. I was there only in the morning and evening, during the day I was exploring the surrounding countryside on Papillon. Here are some photos of Sarlat.

Next to the church. I never did get inside.

One of the views out my window

The other direction from my window.

The angled structures of old churches are fascinating, but distorted by my camera angle

Typical narrow street

I rode to Beynac-et-Cazenac to visit the castle where Richard 1st (whom Shakespeare made famous as Richard the Lionhearted,) son of Aliénor of Aquitaine, lived sometimes. Built in the 12th century, and occupied at least intermittently for about 600, maybe more, years, the castle is high on a cliff over the Dordogne; the cliffs provide good protection on that side.  Since I worked for a brief period as a tapestry weaver, it was particularly thrilling to see so many tapestries in situ.


Grounds inside the castle fortifications; no wall needed on the steep side.

Medieval furniture and tapestries

What a staircase

And another stairs

Kitchen and dining tables, weapons at the ready

Nowadays the Dordogne offers respite to smart visitors and residents alike. The first photo gives you some idea of how popular canoeing is here. If you look carefully, you will see canoes piled up in the background.

A boatfull of tourists on the Dordogne

View from the castle wall. The Dordogne was the border between the French and English during the 100 Years War



  1. Replies
    1. LOL! Never before have I been newsworthy...

  2. So beautiful! Too bad you can't save some of that heat up for later.

    1. And already today it has disappeared, replaced by the rainy greys. It was unusual for this time of year. Indeed, it is so beautiful, mostly everywhere, and I am loving it!

  3. Suze, do you have a new camera? Your photos are fantastic.

    1. Thanks Gerry, I have fun with them. Not new this year, but new last year before the Pyrenees trip.

  4. You made the best of a beautiful day.

    1. And a very hot day. The coolness of the castle interior was welcome.


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