Martel | Things to See and Do in Martel
Martel is a pretty town on the banks of the Dordogne river in the Lot department. Its skyline has many medi-eval towers and is quite unique.
The town developed due to its strategic location at the crossroads of the important wine and salt trade routes between Paris and Toulouse. It also became a popular stopover for pilgrims on their way to Rocamadour.
It was in Martel that Henry the Young King – son of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine – on his campaign in the Limousin against his father and brother died from dysentery after pillaging the areas monasteries to pay his mercenaries.
Due to its trade the town prospered and the 13th century saw many grand houses built by wealthy merchants.
Difficult time came during the 100 years war and it was at this time a second defensive wall was built.
The town recovered from the war and regained its importance and prosperity, with traders building many of the buildings that can be seen today.
In the town there is a museum containing items from Puy d’Issolud, a local Gallic archaeological site which has been identified as Uxellodunum, besieged by Julius Caesar in 51 BC.
Things to See and Do in Martel
St Maur Church
Built as a defensive church the belfry was used as part of the towns defenses.
Palais de al Raymondi
Built in 1280 this impressive building was contructed as a status symbol by the towns tax collector.
It was here that Henry Shortcoat – the sone of Henry II or England – died after pillaging the regions churches.
Place de la Halle
The Halle is in the middle of the town square and is surrounded by the Palais de Raymondi and other impressive buildings.
Dating form the 12th and 14th century
This train runs from Martel to Saint Denis taking a route along the edge of a cliff giving wonderful views of the countryside
The fresh produce market is held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings
Held in the mornings in December and January
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