The virgin of the roc, between Meyronne and Lacave : Notre Dame du Rocher Sainte Marie
The start of the path is located along the D23, opposite a small stone bridge over the stream “Le Limon”.
The chapel is accessible by foot or by mountain bike and, on the upper level, it goes via a Way of the Cross created upon the hillside which ends at the Oratory at the foot of the cliff overlooking the valley.
Visitors and pilgrims usually ring the bell located at the entrance of the cave which was converted into a chapel in the Middle Ages. At that time, the Diocese of Tulle owned a villa in the village of Meyronne as well as many fields and buildings which were rented out by the church.
From july 8th to august 31st, you can go and see Laure Costeau’s work which is currently housed in the grounds of the Chateau de la Treyne, inside the chapel. If you feel like it, afterwards you can enjoy an afternoon coffee on the terrace overlooking the Dordogne river.
Presentation of the exhibition :
After 12 years of experience in textile design of which one year was spent in New York, the artist started painting in 2007. Inspired by nature, a nature which transmits a lot of emotions, she developed through her paintings a sensory universe which leads to evasion and daydreaming. For the artist, painting is a constant search, made of amazing discoveries and serendipity. In her paintings, she works with simplicity, purity and spontaneity. The techniques employed are using oil paint and more recently ink.
Ret Productions will be presenting two horse shows all through the summer.
Durandal Vs. Excalibur tells the story of how two legends come together in the small village of Gromadour, as the villagers are about to commemorate Roland de Ronceveaux.
In Les Lames du Temps, history is replayed together with swords, rapiers, sabers and scimitars to the delight of lords and peasants alike.
For a complete listing of schedules and pricing, please visit www.rocamadour-horseshow.com.
Trailer Durandal – Equestrian Show
“This small town with a great name, strange, paradoxical, born from faith, is from a distant past. At the beginning of our era, Zacchaeus the Publican, a disciple of Christ, is said to to have laid its first foundations.
In the course of time, thanks to miracles, its fame increased and reached the limits of Christianity, Saints, Kings and Princes of France, England, Portugal, etc., high and mighty lords, entire crowds came to piously pray Our Lady Madonna, whose pure and gentle face has been blackened by the years.
Divided into three fortified parts: Castle, Sanctuary and village, Rocamadour has nevertheless suffered from time and men; wars were not kind. However the small city, the “high place with the Spirit ,” has survived.
The medieval city, planted on a steep cliff overlooking the Alzou valley.
As always, the valley lays at the bottom of the gaping crevasse created by the Alzou, with a 150 meters steep and overhanging rock face , its jumble of towers, brown or russet houses, gray churches with simple lines, all the more surprising from its seemingly vertical ensemble, from which appears a niche, an arrowslit, a medieval gate.
Its pilgrimage is famous. Its attraction for tourists is reknown. To see this site at any time is to feel and keep a sense of unforgettable beauty, like nothing ever seen before.
Located midway between of two neighboring underground splendors, it is a feast for the day and for the sun taking place on the plateau and the surprising result of the work of men.
In this little corner of Quercy, so named by Elisée Reclus “Land of Wonders” the “trilogy” is happening , diverse and beautiful, Lacave caves, Rocamadour, the Padirac chasm, the second most visited site in France is not its lesser radiant jewel. ”
Les Grottes de Lacave
Collection Les Merveilles de France
Editions Braun & Cie
The mill was built in the fourteenth century by the monks from a Cistercian abbey settled in Les Alix, located two kilometers away from Rocamadour.
The construction started in 1292 and lasted just over fifty years. It was finally completed by the monks in 1350.
In July 19, 1778, the monks sold the building which became a private property. The mill then became a scheduled historical monument in 1925 and was operated until 1959.
The mill is directly built over “The Ouysse”, a river which starts its life as an underground stream to then follow an eleven kilometers journey before meeting the Dordogne. The weir of the mill is about 1.600 km long and six meters thick.
The original arched front door has been walled up. It was reached by a ford the tiles of which may still be spotted under the water. In these troubled times of famine and looting, the monks who lived there had got themselves some very strong defences.
All they needed to do was to close the door and open the four valves inside the mill, thereby causing a large flow of water to drown the potential aggressors crossing the ford.
The mill is equipped with four wheels weighing about 1.5 tons, each enclosed in a wooden framework through which up to three tons of grain a day were grounded into flour.
Installation of a newly carved mill stone – 2008.
Gluges is a delightful village nesting against the majestic cliffs overlooking the Dordogne river.
Edith Piaf was a regular visitor and was particularly taken by the local 12th century roman church , Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens. She paid to repair the stained glass windows on condition that the donation was kept secret until after her death. The local priest held his promise until October 1963.
The medieval walled village of Rocamadour, close to Souillac, has regularly been visited by pilgrims since the 12th century. They climb the 216 steps on their knees and on their way to the top, they stop by the the chapel home to the Black Virgin to admire the statue as well as the well-preserved fresco of the Annunciation and Visitation. The origins of the virgin are unknown : according to one legend, Zachée came stayed in a local cave and sculpted the statue. Another legend says that Saint Luke sculpted the statue and Zachée brought it back with him from the middle east. Rocamadour became famous because of the miracles attributed to the statue of the black virgin, including 126 healings.
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The discovery of the caves Grottes de Lacave
“On April 6th 1902, after a valiant war waged against an innumerable army of woodlice which had invaded the picturesque castle of Belcastel in the village of Lacave, I realized a long-cherished dream, that of exploring the bowels of the limestone plateau (the Causse de Gramat) which dominates, with its enormous cliffs, the Dordogne Valley and the neighbouring Quercy region . Guided by Fr. Héreil the local parish priest, I found myself in the presence of an 80 meters deep vertical chasm. It smelled good and was called Igue Saint-Sol, we added the name Belcastel by courtesy towards our kind hosts from the nearby castle. Within a mere few hours, we had set up rope ladders, a telephone and other safety equipment and the descent began.
It was a marvel, a dream. At 80 meters below ground, we discovered one kilometre of underground galleries, adorned by a fantastic and almost incredible profusion of stalactites and stalagmites of dazzling whiteness.
From the beginning, we resolved that at any cost, we would some day offer the public, by way of appropriate planning, the beautiful spectacle of this underground explorations which we had discovered by extraordinary luck. Half of these wonders was quickly acquired from the smart owners who ceded us their rights at advantageous prices for both parties. Only the last neighbor, wildly exaggerating its claims, decided to set his sights on inaccessible heights for reasonable budgets. Fortunately, his intransigence was more beneficial than harmful to us in the end and it brought us new discoveries later on.
Having thoroughly studied the geological aspect of the Causse, we easily got the conviction that these galleries were approaching very closely the pretty valley of the Dordogne in order to connect them by an artificial tunnel a few hundred meters in length.
We chose the most favorable point for this trial, another ‘extraordinary journey’ at the heart of the mountain. More precisely, a large natural cavity was opened in the cliff, in that same village of Lacave. We felt that this cavity had been the natural outlet for the waters that had once dug the caves of the Igue Saint-Sol-Belcastel. We thought, however, that we would find that path, a gallery carved by the waters, and in the event our prognosis was correct, and will certainly justify it further in the future for other portions for which we can affirm the existence without having reached them yet.
In April 12th 1904, the inhabitants of Lacave were not a little surprised to see a team of thirty miners and sappers starting digging at the entrance of the Jouclas cave or church. This cavity had indeed served as sanctuary for the village in 1902 and 1903, while the old church was being rebuilt, and religious ceremonies took on a grandiose character, within the scenic majesty of the place. ”
Lacave through the ages
by Armand Viré
La Forge Heritage
“There must have been mills on the Ouysse from very early days. One of them is mentioned in 1087 as a present from Bertrand de Belcastel. It is most probably during the XIII and XIV centuries that the current dams were built or rebuilt, either by the Lords of Belcastel or by the monks from Tulle. There are five in total : Cognaguet, the Tile, the Bougayrou, Verdoire and Valeilles.
The one which has kept its primitive character best is Cognaguet. It is made of a simple construction, strong and elegant at the same time. It deserves to be a scheduled monument, and a very discreet restoration would bring back all of its primitive beauty.
The Bourgnou dwelling presents the most picturesque aspect, popular with tourists visiting Lacave and Rocamadour via Calès. There is a building right above on top of the rock, which has all the characters of the fourteenth century, but its history and origin are unknown.
Inside the mill at Valeilles, we were able to identify the water level, marked by the millers during the main floods. It is a valuable meteorological document for the history of our town ….
At Cognaguet, in 1930 the flood waters rose to a level of 3.20 m above the lowest water mark. ”
extract from Lacave Across the Ages
by Armand Viré
This circular hike will take you along the paths created to access the mills located on the Alzou and Ouysse valleys.
Information posts at regular intervals are intended to provide information on the area : you can purchase the information cards to slot in the posts at the Rocamadour Tourist Office.
The hike takes two and a half hours.
- The virgin of the roc, between Meyronne and Lacave : Notre Dame du Rocher Sainte Marie
- Art exhibition in the Chateau de la Treyne’s chapel, Lacave, from july 8th to august 31st
- Horse Shows in Rocamadour : Durandal vs. Excalibur
- Rocamadour – extract from ‘les merveilles de France’
- Sightseeing in Lacave : le Moulin de Cougnaguet