Rocamadour : medieval and spiritual

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A bit of History

During the paleolithic, humans already lived around the numerous caves surrounding Rocamadour. But this is during the medieval age that the three-story village was built against the cliff. They reflect the three orders of the medieval society : at the top, the knights and the castle, in the middle, the religious and their chapels, and at the bottom, the people living by the river.

Rocamadour knew a real golden age and grew until the 13th century when the friars left the sanctuaries. Then followed several centuries of destructions and false hopes. At the beginning of the 19th century, the religious buildings were in very bad condition, ready to collapse, and there was no more economical life. This is when France started to pay more attention to its historical heritage. Politics and religious had the willing to restore Rocamadour’s splendor. At the end of 1872, most of the restoration work was finished, on both the castle and the sanctuaries. You can still see the result nowadays.

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Pilgrimage and tourism

Rocamadour is visited by more than 1 million people each year. Amongst them, some are pilgrims visiting the Black Madonna of Rocamadour and the tomb of Saint Amadour. Historically, the pilgrimage to Rocamadour had to finish with the rise, on the knees, of the 216 stairs leading to the sanctuary. Nowadays, the village remains an important place for believers.

Beside the religious aspect of the town, there are many other things to see and do in Rocamadour. Several medieval events are set throughout the year, the Montgolfiades in September, the “Rocher des aigles” and the “Monkey’s Forest” attract many visitors too. Eventually, you can spend lovely time in the beautiful streets of the village shopping around or sharing a deserved refreshment.

Each of our riding holidays include a visit of Rocamadour, we will be your guide !


Jeremy Durand