Sarlat | Tourist Attractions in Sarlat the Dordogne
Sarlat is a beautiful medieval town filled with golden sandstone buildings in the Dordogne department of France. Situated about 200 km east of Bordeaux amongst the rolling hills of Perigord Noir Sarlat has been beautifully restored and is recognised as one of the best examples of a medieval town in France if not Europe.
First settlement is thought to have been around 820 AD by the monks of the Calabre abbey who founded a Benedictine Monastery on the site. Over the coming centuries Sarlat grew to be a busy and prosperous town evidence of which can still be seen today in the form of the grand houses and buildings that grace the town. Like many French towns Sarlat suffered greatly during the Hundred Years War, the War of Religion and the French Revolution, the plague in the early 1500’s also had a devastating effect. The Malraux Law, named after the law’s architect Andre Malraux, of 1962 saw Sarlat restored with many of the buildings rescued from demolition.
Sarlat is a maze of laneways and alleyways which just invite one to meander along and explore. Sarlat has many tourist attractions to see and is an extremely popular holiday destination.
Sarlat | Tourist Attractions in Sarlat
Standing majestically in the south eastern corner of the old town is propably the most famous Sarlat tourist attraction the St Sacerdos Cathedral which was built on the site of a 12th century Benedictine Abbey and added to in 14th, 16th & 17th centuries. Other Sarlat tourist attractions near the Cathedral is the Fountain Courtyard, the Romanesque Chapel of St Benoit, the Jardln des Enfeus with tombstones and sarcophagi from the 14th & 16th century and the La Lanterne des Morts monument that once over looked the cemetery.
To the north of the Cathedral is the Place de la Liberte, or the Sarlat town square which is surrounded by 16th and 17th century houses, the beautiful Town Hall and St Mary’s Church, formerly the Sarlat parish church in the 14th & 15th C It remained intact until the Revolution when it was badly damaged by successive pillages and sold in 1815. It is now a market. Place de al Liberte has a number of outdoor restaurants and bars and is the perfect place to sit and take it the atmosphere of the town of Sarlat.
Other notable Sarlat tourist attractions are the La Boetie Residence which was the birthplace of Etienne de la Boetie and one of the grandest homes in Sarlat, it is very noticeable due to its Italian Renaissance style facade. The Le Presidial was the Seat of Justice during the 16th century and features an interesting loggia. The Hotel De Gerard has a wonderful renaissance gallery and regularly is the venue for art exhibitions. And Plamon House or Consuls’ House in Rue des consuls which is one of Sarlat’s most remarkable houses and interesting tourist attraction.
Another wonderful Sarlat attraction is the very famous tourist attraction Sarlat market which is held twice a week. On Wednesday morning there is food and fresh local produce and on Saturday the market runs all day with food being available until about 1pm.