Cahors in the Lot, Episode 62

Cahors General ViewElyse is back on the show today and together we go to the lovely city of Cahors in the Lot (department number 47), in the south-west of France. While not a huge attraction in and of itself, it makes for a wonderful day or half-day visit and has some wonderful monuments you’ll want to see.

To prepare for your visit: Lot Vineyards to Tarn Gorges: A Bicycle Your France E-Guide

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
Places and sites discussed on today’s show: Cahors, Pont Valentré, Cahors wine, Diana Gate, Saint-Etienne Cathedral.

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Valentré Bridge

Valentré Bridge
Valentré Bridge

The pont Valentré is a fortified medieval bridge, one of the few that has survived until today. The building of the Pont Valentré started in 1308 and it opened for use in 1350. The bridge is made of six Gothic arches, three square towers and two barbicans (only the one on the side of the city is still there today). The bridge is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela.

The name of the song we tried to sing and didn’t do a very good job at: Sur le pont d’Avignon.

The Devil on the Valentré Bridge

Devil on the Valentré Bridge
Devil on the Valentré Bridge

This stone with the devil on it was placed on the Valentré bridge in 1879 during one of the many restoration efforts to tell a tale that Elyse recounts in the show.

Malbec Grapes in Cahors Wine

Chateau near Cahors, France growing Malbec grapes
Chateau near Cahors growing Malbec grapes

Cahors wines are made with at least 70% malbec grapes, but can also include Merlot and/or Tannat grapes. The wine made in this area is called “the black wine” because it’s so dark it hardly lets any light through. This wine is a full-bodied wine that you may want to enjoy with a strong cheese or red meat, it is not as tanic as Bordeaux wines usually. Not suited for apéritif in general, and not a wine people keep for decades.

If you can buy Cahors wines where you live, send us a picture of you with the bottle! The email address is at the top of this post. We look forward to those!

The Gate of Diana

The gate of Diana, photo Sting
The gate of Diana, photo Sting

The Gate of Diana used to be part of the Roman Baths. You may guess that it was part of a temple dedicated to the Goddess Diana, but that would be incorrect.

Saint-Etienne Cathedral


Saint Etienne Cathedral, Cahors, France
Saint-Etienne Cathedral

On the photos you can see the dome roof which makes this church different from most in the area.

The inside of Saint-Etienne Cathedral in Rodez, France
The inside of Saint-Etienne Cathedral

Here is the lovely Cloister inside the Cahors Cathedral, don’t walk around too fast so you don’t miss it!

The Cloister of the Saint-Etienne Cathedral, Cahors, France
The Cloister of the Saint-Etienne Cathedral

On Saturdays there is a lovely open-air market outside of the Saint-Etienne Cathedral also.

Detail on the Saint-Etienne Cathedral, Cahors, France
Detail on the Saint-Etienne Cathedral

How to Organize Your Visit

We recommend you start your day with visiting Cahors, then go to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie which we talked about in episode 43. You can do both in one day with a car, or with a tour guide / driver such as Elyse. And if you’re there on a Saturday morning you’ll see Cahors and its market. If you would like to buy some local wine, Annie tried the store across the street from the Valentré store and liked it very much.

Wine store in Cahors, France
This is the wine store Annie liked in Cahors, across the street from the Valentré bridge.
Wine store near the Valentré bridge that we do not recommend
This is the wine shop right by the Valentré bridge that Elyse thought was over-priced.



7 thoughts on “Cahors in the Lot, Episode 62”

  1. Thanks for another great episode. Our local wine store here in Somerville, Massachusetts carries one bottle of Cahors. It is Cuvee Maurin Chahors, 2010. It cost $20 and I liked it. We can also get a lot of Corbiers at the store, one or two Bergerac whites as well as some 100% Carignans.

    I was on the fence about spending a day on the Lot as part of our week in Beynac this summer, but after hearing this episode, we will likely take your advice for a day on the Lot. Thanks!


  2. Hi Elyse and Annie
    Kermit Lynch Wines in Berkeley carries the Clos la Coutale Cahors wine. Searched the web – average price $16. Elyse so glad you are back more often right now with Annie.

  3. Hi Annie
    Sorry I noticed that Elyse’s walking tour blog page was discussed on the Cahors episode that it has been discontinued.

    Sorry for emailing so many comments to you!


  4. I just listened to this podcast about Cahors for the second time, beginning to prepare for our trip to the Dordogne and Lot in a few months.
    I wanted to share what I recenty read about the Malbec wine from this region.
    Recent studies have proven that this wine has the most beneficial anti-cancer properties of any wine and is also the most beneficial for the heart of any other wine.
    We will certainly be drinking lots of it on our upcoming trip!
    I love your podcasts and have gotten my husband to start listening as well.
    Thanks so much

  5. Enjoyed a nice Cahors wine in a French/Vietnamese restaurant called Libertine, in Brisbane, Australia tonight! A 2012 Cèdre Héritage Malbec.

  6. We were lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Chateau
    Mercue just outside of Cahors years ago.It is a 16th century castle turned hotel. Looks like a fairy tale picture! It is a memory we will never forget!

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