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Rocamadour
April 29-30, 2008
Pete's Pics > Rocamadour
A storybook village
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Rebuilds, renovations and outright new construction are all so cunningly camouflaged that distinguishing originals from a latter day look alike is a challenge. The Hotel Bellvue may have been here for some time


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Similarly, the restaurant and bar is probably between 5 years and 500 years old :-)


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Unfortunately, the French root for the English word "taste" and its various derivatives, is "degustation". It takes a little adjustment at wine tasting joints and restaurants to associate this with good things


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These impressive looking medieval oast-houses are, in reality, recently built public restrooms


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Here, Sherpa Watson, indefatigable itinerant that she is, meditates before embarking on the daring descent to Rocamadour


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Later, when I went to fetch her, she had dozed off and it was quite dark


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This is how the village looked on the day of the assault. In the clump of trees growing out of the cliff to the right of the large building, is a zig-zag path with each hairpin marked by a station of the cross


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The little urban area on the high ground outside the village gates is "l'Hopitalet" Rocamadour. Of course, a church is included and the area was essentially the hotel and rooming area for pilgrims


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The church and its associated housing


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The outer entry gate leading to the village


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View of the entry gate and descent from the climb back


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During the descent, some of the buildings looked even more unlikely


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Almost down to the "Main Street" level, the inner gate can be seen


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The inner gate - guess you can't be too careful about who comes and goes


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The main thoroughfare includes a Post Office and the usual mix of tourist trophy stores


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Yet another gate protects the stretch of street that runs by the revered Notre Dame


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The third gate from the "sacred" side


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The view looking up from the street


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A little further along the street, the series of gates begins leaving the other side of the village


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Looking back from whence we came as we started the ascent to the church group


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The whole set up is wonderfully informal as the streets appear to run through the various churches, chapels, courtyards and residences. Penitents used to kneel on each of the 223 steps on the way up. We didn't do this


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The building arrangements also appear to be quite informal and seem to grow out of the cliff face in many areas


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In a large courtyard part way up the cliff, these building are part underground where they have been cut into the rock. Religious Troglodytes maybe


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Interior of Saint Michel - as far as I could make out


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Interior of part of Notre Dame. The suspended ship models are related to various remote seafaring events that are claimed as miracles with their origins in Rocamadour. Makes P. T. Barnum look like a rank amateur


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The east end of the village


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A station of the cross on the cliff side path


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There are fourteen hairpin bends on the way up, each punctuated with a station. Good excuse to stop and catch a breath


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The chateau/keep at the top of the cliff, originally built for defense of the village


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The precarious appearance of the ensemble from near the cliff top


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The "Hopitalet" area outside of the village


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Another view of the little church on the high ground


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Cemetery of the little church
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