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  | The Dordogne | Dordorgne Valley
     
   

Rocamadour

Rocamadour
The village is situated in a stunning location, in a narrow gorge on the Alzou River, and along the tops of the cliffs above. Rocamadour, named for St. Amadour, was once a famous medieval pilgrimage town and the site of many miracles. After his amazing cure, Henry II of England (husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine), knelt before the Black Virgin to revere our Lady of Rocamadour.
    The village is a pedestrian-only. At night, take Petit Train de Nuit, a train that winds through the village, stopping to view the beautifully lighted castle and shrines. The 30 minute train ride leaves from Porte du Figuier and the commentary is in English (and other languages).
    From the town, climb up 223 steps of the Great Stairway to the religious city midway, and the castle at the top. (Or, you can take two elevators). On the stairway, you'll be following the path of the medieval pilgrims, many of whom went up the steps on their knees.
    In the Chapelle Notre Dame you'll see the poignant statue of the Black Virgin. Don't miss the battered sword, stuck above the doorway to the chapel. According to legend, this is Roland's sword, Durandel. In the famous poem, Song of Roland, when Roland is stuck in the Pyrenees, about to die fighting the Saracens, the Archangel Michael takes his sword and tosses it far away, where it sticks in the cliffs of Rocamadour.
At the top of the cliffs, go out to the ramparts of the fort that once guarded the religious city for a stunning prospect of valley.
Hiking, biking and horse riding – Stop at the tourist office for guides to four different nature hikes around Rocamadour. You can rent bikes at the train station in Rocamadour. There is horse riding for kids at the Ferme Equestre de Lagardelle and Poney Club, Bournerie.
Euro Mini Land (Feerie du Rail), L'Hospitalet – This 45 minute show is a wonderful miniature world fantasy – trains whiz through a tiny countryside populated with people, castles, roads, mountains and valleys, animated with a light show and robotics.
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