The Tomb of St. Amadour
According to legend, St. Amadour, a witness to the martyrdom of St. Paul and St. Peter, traveled to the location and took up hermitage following his wife's death. The story might be part myth and part history, but the legend, beloved of locals, adds toRocamadour's charm and magic.
A Site That Is Up, Down and in the Middle
"Start At the Top"
When we arrived at the top of the gorge and saw the siting of the town below we realized that it too must have once been a fortified town. Negotiating an independent tour of Rocamadour can be satisfying but the information available before you come is not as useful as it should be. Description of assistance and transport is briefly described on the web site and most fees are not provided. We started at the top, walked down and rode back from the botttom (eating lunch in town) and spent most of the day exploring it all. Foolishly we rushed to take pictures at the outset and left no time to take informative views before we left.
"How We Got There"
We came to Rocamadour (pop. 800) from Gramat via L'Hospitalet, taking from there the D673, which shortly to the left by sign-posted road led after 2 km to the parking area next to a church and the Chateau. These are situated on the cliff overlooking the gorge in which the town is sited. This is the only sensible place to bring a car since you cannot drive through or into Rocamadour, and we were continuing on to Sarlat.
Rocamadour is claimed to be one of the most visited sites in France, but we do not think it is a 3* (Michelin's rating) attraction except for the view. (We would go to St.-Michel with its crowds, twice, before considering the Roc. However the Dordogne valley nearby and many other attractions in the vicinity of Roc. make it an ideal area in which a family or other active people can spend a week (animal activities, canoeing, Padirac, plus Romanesque treasures) or more. In the U.S. an area like this would have several time-share vacation sites. It seems that the French only want to crowd in and burn on the Med. south of Montpellier.