The Valentré Bridge, Cahors, France

Written by on January 28, 2014 in Midi-Pyrénées, Readers Photos

Valentre Bridge CahorsCahors is a lovely medieval village, and capital of the Lot department in south west France. It is an ancient town, the Romans fell under the spell of the location, a city almost entirely surrounded by water and it has pretty much been popular ever since. It is sited on a U shaped bend on the River Lot and is known as presqu’île (almost an island). Cahors is one of the oldest wine producing areas of France and lush vineyards dot the area.

The best known landmark in the city of Cahors is the Valentré Bridge (Pont Valentré). Work commenced on the bridge over the River Lot in 1308 and the famous towers on the bridge were built fortress style so that the locals could attack invaders from above.

The Valentré Bridge took an awesome 70 years to complete and gave rise to a local legend involving a deal with the devil.

It is said that the poor builder who was responsible for the final round of construction was woefully behind on his commitment and so made a pact with the devil. He agreed to trade his soul in return for the bridge’s completion. As the bridge got to the laying of the last stone the builder pulled a cunning trick – he gave the devil a sieve with which to carry water for the final batch of mortar, and of course this couldn’t be done and the last stone was never laid. Another version of the legend says that the builder refused to lay the last stone and thereby saved his soul as technically the bridge was technically never finished. 

Several centuries later, restoration work carried out in the 19th century saw a statue of the devil added to one of the three famous towers of the bridge in memory of the unfortunate builder. It was during that century that the city underwent a major overhaul, the town hall, library, courts and theatre were built and more roads added. A museum in a former pumping station close by tells the history of the Valentré bridge.

How to pronounce Cahors: the ‘h’ and the ‘s’ are silent, so it is pronounced Ka’or

Video of Cahors:

Related Articles

Where to eat out near Millau Viaduct Aveyron

Close to the awesome Millau Viaduct, and providing a surreal backdrop),is the ancient town of Millau. It’s home to a rich history and beautiful architecture, Roman pottery and fine leather glove making. It’s a pretty town and also a good place to stop off to enjoy a leisurely bite to eat and enjoy the stunning […]

Continue Reading

10 things to do in Toulouse

10 things to do in Toulouse

Written by on November 16, 2018 in Midi-Pyrénées

Toulouse is around 60 miles from the  Spanish border and its sunny neighbour definitely influences the flavour of this vibrant city. From lively bistros and bodegas in elegant squares to a penchant for tango dancing and al fresco dining, lively Toulouse is a great place for a city break. There’s plenty to do and see […]

Continue Reading

Discover Aveyron France | Pickled in the past

Aveyron echoes with the past. Every densely wooded gorge and valley, every ancient bastide town and every winding road seems to whisper of pilgrims making their weary way south, of Romans and rebellious Gauls or of Knights Templars, thundering across the plateaux. Part of the Massif Central but also the northern most part of the […]

Continue Reading

Toulouse for foodies | Where to eat out in Toulouse

Toulouse has a reputation for being friendly and sunny, perfect conditions to take advantage of all that’s on offer. It’s also famous for its great food from cassoulet to markets and gastronomic restaurants. Lip-smacking Cassoulet The spicy, meaty, unctuous and utterly mouth-watering stew with haricot beans is one of the most famous specialities of the […]

Continue Reading

A glimpse of the future at the Millau Viaduct  Aveyron France

The river and gorges of the Tarn are well known and undoubtedly it’s worth losing yourself for a while here in what is the deepest canyon in France. But this really is a place where the vastness of nature meets the enormity of human creation. And, if the Pont du Gard transports you back to […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.