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

Secret Toulouse | The city’s unusual side

Discover secret Toulouse. The pink city as it’s known, thanks to the beautiful red brick buildings that fill its streets, is an absolute paradise for culture vultures… Colourful, cultural and captivating France’s 4th largest city has a multi-faceted personality. It’s famous for being home to Airbus headquarters, hosts satellite, space and aerospace industries and has […]

Continue Reading

What to see in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot Department

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot department in southern France, is a cliff hanger of a village – quite literally. Perched on a cliff top, the River Lot curls its way along the bottom of the limestone cliff. From the top, the canoeists and kayakers who paddle their way down look tiny. Here’s what to see in […]

Continue Reading

Photos of Collioure that will make you want to go there!

The French Mediterranean village of Collioure is nothing short of enchanting. Travel guru Rick Steves refers to it as “paradise reclaimed” – it’s hard to disagree. These gorgeous photos of  Collioure, basking in the sun, are sure to make you want to visit… Collioure is everything that describes an idyllic postcard-perfect retreat from modern stresses… […]

Continue Reading

What to see in Rocamadour

What to see in Rocamadour

Written by on April 6, 2020 in Midi-Pyrénées

Rocamadour is a small clifftop village overlooking the Alzou Valley in the Lot, south-central France. In an area that’s brimming with outstandingly beautiful sites and towns including medieval time warp town Sarlat and the extraordinary Gouffre de Padirac, an underground cave where you can take a boat ride – Rocamadour more than holds its own. […]

Continue Reading

The very best guided tours of Aveyron

There are some places that are so special you have to pinch yourself to make sure they’re real and not a dream. Aveyron in southwest France is one of those places. It’s a land where you’ll step back in time and discover beauty on every corner. Pickled in the past, picture postcard pretty medieval villages, […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top