The most significant attraction of our area is Rocamadour. The name origins from Saint Amadour, who found refuge at the river under this steep ‘Roc’ in french. Embedded in a valley of rocks and surrounded by greenery, this ancient city was first mentioned off in a document in the year 968. There were reports of miracles happening, which very quickly made Rocamadour famous. The black Madonna, a sculpture Saint Amadour is said to have cut out in walnut, is the cause of those miracles. It was very popular, especially in the middle-ages, for roman-catholic pilgrims to come here, to present themselves before the black Madonna, and to hopefully experience such a miracle. However, most pilgrims did not come here on their own free will. It was in fact imposed on them as a punishment from near and far places since the 13th century. Once arriving at Rocamadour, they had to dress in a rough cloth, carry chains around their arms and neck, and climb the 216 steps on their knees, so they could emulate the pain of Christ and ask for forgiveness at the alter. Some famous pilgrims have passed through here, including the french King Ludvig IX.
Rocamadour is devided into three levels. The village with shops and restaurants at the bottom. From here visitors can climb the 216 steps to the second level, which is enclosed by seven chapels. The most significant being Notre Dame de Rocamadour. A pathway takes you further up the mountain to the top, where a castle from the 14th century is located. In 2013 Rocamadour was celebrating 1000 years of pilgrimage. Today the ancient city is said to be the third biggest tourist attraction in France, with more than 1,5 million visitors every year. From our castle, Rocamadour is a mere 16 km away. Not a real pilgrimage, but certainly a must-see in our opinion. And according to the legend, should you experience a miracle when you visit the black Madonna, the free hanging bell will start to ring by it´s own movement.