Carennac | Things to See and Do in Carennac the Lot
This gorgeous village sits on the banks of the Dordogne river in the Lot department and the Midi-Pyrenees Region.
Carennac is a designated Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – Beautiful Village of France – and is quite simply a picture postcard perfect village.
History | Carennac
Carennac has been a site of human habitation since Neolithic times. The area is mentioned in records from the 10th Century and in the 11th was given to the abbey of Cluny which founded a priory there. Badly damaged during the hundred years war, the buildings were restored in the 15th Century, but further devastated during the religious wars.
St. Peter’s church, by the fortifications of the monastery, retains a number of features from the Middle Ages. Its beautiful cloisters lead to the Chapter Room which contains a famous entombment, an almost perfect sculpture of the late 15th Century.
The village rose up again in the 16th century with the building of the Dean’s chateau in locally quarried white stone. Today the chateau houses the “Maison de la Dordogne Quercynoise” and its year-round exhibition on the region. In the following century Fénelon, Dean of Carennac, is said to have written his famous Télémaque (Adventures of Telemachus), published in 1699. The island opposite the village is still named after Calypso.