Sarlat

Sarlat is a very charming town, and capital of the Périgord Noir, just north of the Dordogne river. It was apparently a wealthy trading and argicultural town in medieval times, poor at the right time to avoid industrialization, and is now wealthy again, through the tourist trade. The Old Town maintains the plan constrained by the original walls, some of which remain. Sarlat is still famous for its Saturday market.

It now makes a great base for exploring the castles and sights of this portion of the Dordogne. (On the map, one can see the castles of Beynac and Castelnaud, and the villages of Domme and Roque Gageac, which we visited.) It's also close to some of the great pre-historic sites, such as Lascaux and the village of Cro-Magnon.

The cuisine of this area is famous, based largely on duck and goose, notably the famous Foie Gras, or liver of the fattened fowl, mostly processed in the form of pâté or terrine. Though foie gras is justly a delicacy, it has to be admitted that the process of fattening the birds to produce the enlarged livers doesn't bear much examination.
Sarlat Area

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

The B&B where we stayed, Le Verseau, in the hills above Sarlat. It has a very pleasant garden for breakfast!
Some general views of town and the approaches:
Flowers in the public garden.
An ice-cream break! (France has re-discovered more hand-made, or artisanale, ice-cream.)

There are a great many restaurants, cafés, and so on, often tucked into odd nooks.




This up-scale restaurant had quite a crew of resident cats, at least two of which are visible here.

The especial glory of Sarlat is its many medieval structures:




A family break: Isabel, Benjamin, Marian, Tor, and Chantal.

The Cathédrale St. Sacerdos, which comprises the usual mix of building dates, from the 13th through 18th centuries:

The main tower. The rear view. This is a vertical panorama, stitched from three landscape-format pictures, hence the curved distortion.

A side bell tower. An intriguing melange of construction styles and forms.
Flowers along the exterior. A stained-glass window in the entrance-way. And its effect on the pavement.

Other sights:

Another church, another vertical panorama
Benjamin on the Geese statue.
Chantal and Isabel
Walking back up the hill in the evening after dinner.
A house in the local style.
Shed roof in the sunset.

schooler@alum.mit.edu