Upstream from Cahors, the Lot valley opens up to a winding cutting where yachts and pleasure boats ply the river. The cliffs come together, high and white. They tightly hug the river cooled by trees and meadows. The road is at times cut into the rock. It runs close to the enchanting waterway, one of the most beautiful rivers in France.
One soon enters the Parc Régional des Causses du Quercy. A crossroad shows the neighbouring valley of the Célé. A veritable jewel box is containing a rare pearl, Saint-Cirq Lapopie.
Perched above the river, the medieval village fits beautifully into its cliffs. It unfurls in an intoxicating cascade of paved alley ways, Gothic façades, fortified gates and hollyhocks.
Previously witness to a flourishing ferryboat life, renowned for its wood turners, Saint-Cirq Lapopie is a heritage —official label— site as including thirteen historic monuments. The village has retained whole of its heritage, but its charm. Market stalls, restaurants, and cafés are sheltered from the sun by the shade of Gothic doors, whereas the site is striking in its harmony.
At the turn of the 20th century, the village attracted numerous artists, Parisian gallery owners, and from 1950 surrealist movement artists. This artistic dimension is still present, as evidenced by the contemporary art route.
The poet and writer André Breton was the one who put Saint-Cirq Lapopie on the map.