Site of a Famous Romanesque Sculptural Masterpiece
"How and Why We Came Here"
En route from Rocamadour to Sarlat, we stopped at Souillac (pop. 4K) to see St. Mary's Abbatial church with its famous ancient sculptures. Besides these items, the church is of great interest as a rare example of the Byzantine-Romanesque 3-domed style of vaulting, which we had seen earlier in our trip in Cahors (and would see again in Angouleme, Perigeux and Palermo).
As we drove through the Quercy valley, a few miles before reaching Souillac, we came again to a most beautiful section of the Dordogne river, enhanced by a view of the Castle of Belcastel on a rocky promontory. This part of the river is popular with canoers.
"Souillac Is An Old Town"
In the 12C Souillac became an important stop on the Road to Compostela with its welcoming Abbey. It suffered destructions in the Hundred Years War but even worse during the Wars of Religion. The monastery was devastated twice and was rebuilt in the 17C. Its church became the parish church because that one was destroyed with only its belfry surviving.