The Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift on the move for cycling as a means of transport


Prefecture of Lot (46)
Population: 20,000 (Cadurciens and Cadurciennes), 41,700 in the 36 communes of the Grand Cahors Agglomeration Community, 174,000 in the Lot department.
Personalities: Léon Gambetta (politician), Clément Marot (poet), Fabien Galthié (captain then coach of the French rugby team), Charles Dumont (singer)
Specialities: Duck in all its forms, Quercy lamb, black truffles, Rocamadour cheese, Quercy melon, walnuts, saffron, Cahors wines
Sport: Cahors Lot XIII (rugby league, Nationale 2). Sportsman: Fabien Galthié (rugby union, international and current coach of the French national team). Facilities: 360 hectares of playing surfaces, including 14 team sports pitches, 6 sports halls, 3 dojos and 15 tennis courts. Events: Quercy car rally. By bike: 28 km of cycle lanes and shared streets, bike parks near the car parks. A greenway is being prepared that will run through the town and conurbation along the Lot valley.
Heritage: Valentré bridge and its three fortified towers over the Lot (14th century), Saint-Étienne cathedral (12th century) listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Henri Martin museum, covered market (19th century)
Festivals: Cahors Blues Festival
Economy: Winegrowing, administration, services, Cahors Sud business park, directly connected to the A20, home to 74 companies in the logistics, transport, industry, agri-food, trade and construction sectors. Four commercial zones, two craft and industrial zones. Tourism
Labels: Town and Country of Art and History, UNICEF Child-Friendly Town, Terre de Jeux 2024 label

Cahors en vue aérienne © Getty/JackF


Cahors was a clean sweep for French riders on the men's Tour de France, as it was in the Lot prefecture that Christophe Laporte salvaged national pride with a stage win on the penultimate stage of the 2022 edition, whereas Jacky Durand, French champion's jersey on his back, had won the only previous finish in the town, in 1994. In 2007, Cahors was also the start of a stage won in Angoulême by Sandy Casar. Cahors was on the route of the Tour de l'Avenir in 1985 and the Route du Sud between 1985 and 1987, with stage wins by Laurent Fignon and Charly Mottet. Among the riders with links to Cahors are Laurent Roux, a native of the town who took part in four Tours de France between 1996 and 2001 before being suspended for doping, and Romain Bellenger, winner of six stages of the Grande Boucle between 1921 and 1925, who died in Cahors in 1981. 

Christophe Laporte vainqueur dans le lot d'une étape lors du Tour de France 2022 © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

Valentré Bridge
Construction: 1306 to 1380
Listed as: Historical Monument in 1840. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 as part of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela.
Characteristics: with a length of 172 metres, the Valentré bridge has eight arches resting on piers with a forebay. It has three towers, of which only the two on the banks were fortified with machicolations and archways. Originally, each end of the bridge was protected by a small tower, but these features have now all but disappeared. Pont Valentré has been a pedestrian bridge since 1995.
History: The first stone was laid in 1308 by the first consul, Géraud de Sabanac. The building work lasted almost 70 years, giving rise to the legend that the devil helped the architect. In 1345, it was possible to walk on the deck, but the three towers were probably not completed until around 1380, despite the crises of the Hundred Years' War. Mentioned in 1840 in the first list of Historical Monuments, the Valentré bridge was restored around 1880 by architect Paul Gout, who commissioned local artist Cyprien-Antoine Calmon to sculpt a small devil at the top of the central tower.
Trivia: The little devil on the central tower recalls the legend of this bridge: the architect is said to have made a deal with the devil whereby he would sell him his soul at the end of the bridge's construction, unless Satan failed to carry out a mission entrusted to him by the architect. The architect asked him to bring water to the workers in a bucket with a hole in it, and he saved his soul.

Saint-Etienne Cathedral
Construction: 7th to 12th centuries. 15th and 16th centuries for the cloister
Style: Romanesque and flamboyant Gothic.
Classification: listed as a Historical Monument in 1862 and 2020. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela.
Characteristics: built from the 12th century onwards, it is one of the largest French buildings with domes on pendentives and combines Romanesque and Gothic elements (choir). It houses the Holy Headdress, a relic that is said to have wrapped Christ's head when he was laid in the tomb.
History: the construction of Saint Stephen's cathedral and the early episcopal complex is traditionally attributed to Bishop Didier in the 7th century. The Roman cathedral's two main altars were consecrated in 1119 by Pope Calixtus II. Its nave is covered by the two largest domes in the south-west. The tympanum of the north portal dates from the 12th century. The cloister, a true masterpiece of flamboyant Gothic art, was built between 1493 and 1553. The cloister is surrounded by various buildings belonging to the chapter. The Saint-Gausbert chapel, decorated with paintings executed at the end of the 15th century, has housed the cathedral treasury since 1972.

Château du Roi - Cahors prison
Construction: 14th century
Style: medieval
Listed as: Historical Monument in 2019.
History: this former prison is the former Via palace. This palace, built in the 14th century by Pierre Via, the brother-in-law of Pope John XXII (born in Cahors), was refurbished in the 17th century and became a prison from 1790. With over 200 years of history as a departmental prison, it is the oldest prison in France. In 2006, it still housed around sixty inmates. It closed its doors in July 2012.
Special features: One of its chimneys, dating back to the 14th century and now removed, was once used as a lighthouse to show boatmen the location of the port of Cahors.

Cahors Henri-Martin Museum
Founded in 1833, moved to the bishop's palace in 1929
Listed as: Historical Monument in 1999
Label: Musée de France
History: acquired by the Lot department in 1805, the former bishop's palace was built in several phases from the 15th century onwards. The building ceased to be the seat of the bishopric in 1906: the park became a public garden and the municipal museum was installed in the buildings in 1929.
Characteristics: reopened last May after renovation, the Cahors Henri-Martin Museum has several permanent display areas. The career of Henri Martin, a post-impressionist artist, is evoked through easel paintings and large-scale decors. Works by other artists with links to the Lot (Pierre Daura, Edmée Larnaudie) complete the display. The history of ideas is represented by Léon Gambetta, a native of Cahors, and by the pacifist World Citizens movement, which brought together many Lot residents after the war. The archaeological sections focus on the Gallo-Roman and medieval periods. Finally, there is a room devoted to classical fine art and another to the Oceanic collection, featuring the exceptional sculpture of the god Rongo.

Henry IV House
Construction: 16th century
Style: Renaissance
Listed as: Historical Monument in 1862
History: the Henry IV house owes its name to the fact that King Henry IV stayed there during the siege of Cahors in 1580. The building is also known by the more realistic name of Hôtel de Roaldès, as the family bearing this name lived there for over 300 years. It is a private building.

Remains of an amphitheatre
The remains of a Gallo-Roman amphitheatre dating from the 1st century lie hidden beneath Allées Fé nelon. Shaped like an oval, 110-m long and 90-m wide, part of it can be seen by the public on the 1st floor of the Amphitheatre car park. They were discovered in 2007 during the construction of the car park.

Le pont Valentré © Getty/Doug Schweigert
La cathédrale Saint-Etienne vue du ciel © Creative Commons 1.0/Torsade de Pointes
Le Château du Roi - Maison d'arrêt de Cahors © Creative Commons 1.0/Torsade de Pointes
Le Musée de Cahors Henri-Martin © Creative Commons 3.0/MOSSOT
La Maison henri IV © Creative Commons 4.0/MOSSOT
Les vestiges d'un amphithéâtre gallo-romain © Creative Commons 4.0/Krzystof Golik


A new generation of Cahors wines Described as a "fire liqueur" or "black wine", Cahors wines have been highly reputed since the Middle Ages. But their fortunes varied from time to time. The main grape variety of the AOC, Malbec, now a prince in Argentina but initially king in Cahors, has become its emblem. And many gifted winegrowers have set up in the region or taken over family vineyards and injected new energy into them. Most of them are organic, or even biodynamic, and offer a fresh take on the great terroirs and possibilities of this vineyard. These new Cahors winemakers include Emmanuel and Émilie Rybinski (Clos Troteligotte), Maya Sallée and Nicolas Fernandez (Domaine la Calmette) and Germain Croisille (Château les Croisille).

Des vignes de Cahors © Creative Commons 2.0/John

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