want to see one of the wonders and true jewels of Romanesque sculpture, make a
stop in SOUILLAC before continuing to Sarlat.
You wouldn’t believe it but like many of the Dordogne monastery, it was
founded in the 9th century, reached its glory in the 12th
century when it founded over 150 religious settlements like priories, in the
Perigord, the Limousin and the Quercy. A village grew up around its walls where
you access by the famous “Pont de Souillac”, built begin 19th
Wars and battles raged for centuries until the MONASTERY, classified historical
monument, and the St.Martin church were destroyed by fire in the 16th
century. Later fixed up, sometimes in a not very tasteful way by Louis IXV, it
is now hard to imagine St.Marie in its real beauty, but the essentials remain.
Inside the main door you have wild sculpted scenes and the eye is inevitably
drawn to ISAIA the prophet.
Souillac has also another attraction: MUSEE DE L’AUTOMATE. Numerous mechanical
dolls haunt the premises, dining, playing music with special sound and light
And if you like to stroll few charming, recently renovated streets, la rue des
Craquelins, la rue du Barry des Campis, la rue des Oules, la place Roucou, la
place Benetou...and so on.
Modern robots are kept in the ROBOT ZOO and the MUSEE DES ATTELLAGES BELLE
EPOQUE is right in the heart of the town.
To head for Sarlat you leave the departement du Lot for the Dordogne, more
specifically called Perigord Noir. At the D 50 continue to STE.MONDANE, a
riverside village. Visitors pour into Ste-Mondane to see the majestic “Chateau
de Fenelon. With its magnificent Lebanese cedar.
Downriver the D 50 you can, if you are willing to get out of the car, you can
walk up the medieval streets of GROLEJAC, CARSAC. And then the “Chateau de
Montfort”, high over the river and one of the most photographed of all the
Dordogne castles. Try to stop
between Carsac and Vitrac to have the best view of it.
Let’s head for SARLAT LA CANEDA,
the city of foie gras!