Cahors is strategically situated in a loop of the curvaceous river Lot, surrounded by hills. It was in this advantageous spot that the ancient tribe of the Cadurci decided to settle in about 800BC. The Romans, predictably, marched their legions over the land more than two thousand years ago, and it was they who planted the first vineyards in the first century AD. The heyday for this glorious old town came in the fourteenth century, when a local boy, Jacques Dueze, became Pope John XXII, and set up his seat at the papal palace in Avignon.
The most famous landmark in the city of Cahors is the Valentré Bridge (Pont Valentré). Work began on the bridge over the River Lot in 1308 and its famous towers were built like a fortress so that the locals could attack invaders from above. The Valentré Bridge took some 70 years to complete and gave rise to a local legend involving a deal with the devil. It is also considered the most photographed landmark in France outside of Paris.
Cahors really is an enchanting old town. With its ancient quarters and medieval bridge, cobbled streets, secret gardens and leafy boulevards, wonderful cafes, restaurants and relaxed street life. It has it all.
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