There are more than two dozen medieval towns and villages within an hour’s drive from Beduer and all have their attractions, so we are listing below just a few of our favourites.
Figeac is a delightful market town on the river Célé just 7km from Beduer. Founded in the 9th century around its abbey, the town has preserved many of its old stone buildings and narrow streets dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, including a Commandery of the Knights Templars and the 13th century Hôtel de la Monnaie, now housing a local history museum and tourist office. In 1790 Figeac was the birthplace of Jean-Francois Champollion who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and enabled the world to read hieroglyphics. Quite appropriately the town now hosts the national museum of writing, the Musee Champollion, with a huge replica of the Rosetta Stone in its courtyard. Of the old abbey buildings, all that remains is the church of St Sauveur. The cloisters, demolished after the revolution have become the Place de la Raison. The church holds a remarkable treasury of gold artifacts. For a more detailed description click here
Rocamadour, a remarkable village built into a cliff and about 45 minutes north of Beduer, has been a pilgrimage site since the 11th century and is now the second most popular tourist site in France after Mont St Michel. The best time to visit is in the early morning before the tourists arrive. Park at L’Hospitalet for the best view of the village. For a detailed description click here
The Célé and Lot valleys
The Célé valley will reward a slow meandering drive, stopping along the way at the pilgrim halt of Espagnac St Eulalie and the village of Marcillac with its delightful church and the ruins of its once-powerful abbey, and where lunch at the Restaurant des Tourists (it is advisable to book) provides a unique gastronomic experience. For a detailed description see:
Other places worth visiting
- the beautiful Renaissance Chateau de Montal near St Céré an hour to the north, and which has close historical connections with Beduer;
- the village of Carennac with its abbey on the Dordogne;
- Villefranche de Rouergue with its colossal church and Thursday morning market;
- Belcastel on the river Aveyron with its superbly restored medieval chateau;
- Capdenac le Haut, a hill-top village above the river Lot which has a strong claim to have been the site of Uxellodunum, the last stronghold of Vercingetorix the Gaul against the Romans under Julius Ceasar;
- and if you have an hour or so to spare before your flight home from Rodez airport, don’t miss Rodez Cathedral with its remakable architecture and Mise au Tombeau.
See beduerpictures.com for our comprehensive gallery of the chateau and the region.