Rocamadour

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Rocamador or Rocamadour  is a village located in the department of Lot, in the Occitan region. southwestern France. It is located east of the city of Bordeaux and north of the city of Montauban. It is part of an open valley in the calcareous mountain of the Causse by the Alzou river. Its name comes from the relics of San Amador whose body, presumably incorrupt, was found by Benedictine monks inside the Marian shrine, in the year 1162.

This town, due to the great beauty of its situation, makes it suitable for artists and excites the curiosity of archaeologists; but its reputation comes especially from the famous sanctuary of the Black Virgin, which for centuries has attracted pilgrims from all countries, including kings, bishops, and nobles.

lthough the pilgrims of the Middle Ages made the path of Santa Maria de Rocamadour, the new road to Santiago, chosen in the twentieth century thanks to the hiking trails called GR, transformed this direction into a variant of the Puy-en-Velay path . Along this new path, you can find many carvings dedicated to the Black Madonna.

The city also gives Rocamadour its name to milk cheese with denomination of origin, since 1996, which is made with a certain type of goat. The town is a member of the association «Reseau Grands Sites de France», although it has not yet deserved the distinction of Grand site de France.

Access : Coordinates: 44.8003, 1.6186  / By train :
The Rocamadour / Padirac train station is located just under 5 km northeast of the town center. Seven times daily there are regional express trains (TER) from Brive-la-Gaillarde (journey time 40 minutes approx.) and Rodez (1:45 hours). Coming from Paris, change at Brive-la-Gaillarde (5:20 hours from Gare d’Austerlitz), from Toulouse in Figeac (3 hours in total). Once a day there is a continuous night train from Paris.
/ By car :
Rocamadour is near the motorway A 20 (Paris-Toulouse), coming from the north, leaving at the junction  54 Gouffre de Padirac / Gramat / Rocamadour (from there it is still 31 km), coming from the south on the  56 Aurillac / Sarlat / Figeac (25 km). From Limoges it is 145 km, which takes about 1 ½ hours, from Toulouse 170 km (2 hours), from Paris 530 km (5:15 hours).
/By plane :
Closest international airport is Toulouse-Blagnac. From there it is about 165 km to Rocamadour (about 1:45 hours by car). Closer but much smaller is the airport Rodez-Aveyron (105 km, 1:35 hrs). It is also possible to consider arriving via Limoges Airport (165 km, 1:45 hrs).
On foot :
Through Rocamadour, the long-distance trail GR 6 leads from Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (Gironde) to Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye on the Franco-Italian border in the Alps  the GR 46 from Toulouse to Tours; and a side branch of the Way of St. James from Clermont-Ferrand to Cahors.

Attractions :

  • Grotto de Linars. Stalactite cave and burial site from the late Bronze Age, ca. 1000 BC , 1.5 km east of the center.
    Grotto of the Merveilles. Cave with Palaeolithic paintings in the district L’Hospitalet, 1 km northeast of the center.
  • Saint-Amadour crypt, listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
  • La Foret des Singes-Monkey Forest , 46500 Rocamadour, Open : 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm , entrance fee – Basic price : 9,00 € , monkey forest park with 160 monkeys in woods, parking , and walking trails
  • Rocher des Aigles – Birds park , route du Chateau | Marcayou, 46500 Rocamadour, Open : 11:00 am – 5:00 pm , entrance fee : Adult – 11 € , Child (4 to 13 years old) -7 € , various bird shows includes parakeets, parrots , cockatoos Eagles, vultures and condors
  • Cite Religieuse , Place de la Carretta, 46500 Rocamadour, The religious city or shrine of Rocamadour is a Marian city built on the side of the cliff of the Alzou canyon, in the town of Rocamadour in Lot, France , an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Basilique St-Sauveur , Place St-Amadour, Rocamadour, Basilica from the 11th century.you can visit the statue of the black madonna ,Parish Church today, it welcomes the pilgrim since the 13th century. Built at a time of transition between Romanesque and Gothic art, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Remparts du Chateau , Chateau – Rocamadour L’hospitalet, 45600 Rocamadour, Vestige of a 14th century fort, intended to protect the sanctuary.From these overhanging ramparts reveals a magnificent panorama of the Alzou canyon and the site. entrance fee : Individual guided adult tour 2€ , hours : All year , 08:00 – 20:00
  • Musee La Maison des Abeilles – The Bee House – Living Museum , L Hospitalet | Face a la Foret des Singes, 46500 Rocamadour, The museum of the bee in Rocamadour , free entry , Small museum pleasant, fun and free , open : 10:00 – 12:30 14:30 – 19:00

Activities : Rocamadour Aventures / Via ferrata and klettersteig climbing / Durandal medieval show / Driving with the 2CV / Balloon Rides ,Rocamadour Aerostat / Day Tours /
Le Petit Train de Rocamadour – The small Rocamadour train ride , ride up to the cliff

Events : In March: Brive-Rocamadour mountain bike tour./ Pentecost Sunday: Cheese Festival./ Father’s Day: Brocante./ In August: Cantica Sacra Festival./ The last weekend of September: Les Montgolfiades.

Go next : town of Martel / Saint-Cirq-Lapopie / Carennac / Curemonte / Turenne / Ayen / Payrac/ Gouffre de Padirac / Presque and Lacave Caves / Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux, chateau de Montal / Vallee de la Dordogne-Dordogne Valley

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