Top choice in The Lot

The Sanctuaires are seven beautiful 12th- to 14th-century chapels built into the rock-face and surrounding a central courtyard. You can see worn stones where pilgrims cycled between the churches. Chapelle Notre Dame is the highlight, containing the magical Vierge Noire (Black Madonna). Carved from walnut in the 12th century, she drew worshippers from across Europe in the Middle Ages. Overhead, the 9th-century iron bell is said to have rung on its own when somewhere in the world the Virgin performed a miracle.

Outside the chapel are the sites where it is said that the original hermit, St Amadour, was buried, and where Durandal, Roland’s famous sword, was embedded in the wall. Rocamadour is still an active site; dress appropriately.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Lot attractions

1. Château

0.03 MILES

Perched atop Rocamadour, the château is a series of 14th-century protective ramparts with excellent views of the valley. Exact change is required for the…

3. Gouffre de Padirac

7.66 MILES

Discovered in 1889, the spectacular Gouffre de Padirac features some of France’s spangliest underground caverns. The cave’s navigable river, 103m below…

4. Insectopia

7.73 MILES

Insectopia is an interactive bug zoo that enthralls kids with display cases of creepy-crawlies, from giant millipedes to scarab beetles, praying mantises…

5. Place des Consuls

9.49 MILES

Martel’s central square, place des Consuls, is home to the former fortress of the viscounts, Hôtel de la Raymondie, and is filled by a great market on…

6. Église St-Pierre

9.98 MILES

Just inside the gateway of the Château du Doyen sit the priory and the Romanesque Église St-Pierre with a remarkable Romanesque tympanum of Christ in…

7. L’Espace Patrimoine

9.99 MILES

The village’s main landmark is the 16th-century Château du Doyen, which houses a heritage centre and museum, L’Espace Patrimoine, showcasing the art and…

8. Cascade

10.01 MILES

This 30-metre waterfall is accessed via a pleasant 1km walk through the forest heading upstream. The trail leaves from the parking lot at the north end of…