Built on top of a rocky outcrop, the castrum du Puy (derived from puech or pech, meaning "hill") takes its name from the natural relief on which it is located. The positioning of this fortified village, overlooking
of the Lot river and at the crossroads of the main traffic routes linking Moissac, Rocamadour and Cahors, makes it a strategic position and a privileged place for the development of trade.
Place du Rampeau: view of the castles of Lychairie Basse and Haute
On the site of the old fairground, the belvedere offers a view of the heart of the medieval town. On the right, the episcopal tower occupies the highest point of the rocky outcrop. On an intermediate landing of the 1st enclosure, the imposing Ostal de Lychairie Haute stands out and to its left the Renaissance dwelling of Lychairie Basse (16th century), recognizable by its hexagonal tower.
On this square, Vinoltis is your tourist information office and space for interpreting the Cahors vineyards, Vinoltis is a real gateway to the vineyards and the Lot valley. It is divided into 3 scenographic spaces intended to make discover in a playful and in-depth way, all that the vineyard embodies for this territory: the people, the terroir, the vine, the trades, the landscapes, the history, the aromas...
Tasting independently every day or with winegrowers, depending on the programme.
The Church of Saint-Sauveur
Positioned outside the castrum, according to a classic layout of the South. Initially built in the southern Gothic style: single nave opening onto a choir with a flat apse. Completion campaign at the end of the 15th century: construction of the bell tower and the flamboyant portal, and addition of a watchtower in the north corner (visible from the cemetery). Following a collapse of the roof in 1876, the current apse with radiating chapels replaces the original apse, according to the plans of the architect Emile Toulouse. In the choir: stained glass windows, made by the Toulouse workshop of Louis-Victor Gesta.
The Main Street
From the 13th to the 17th centuries, the fountain of Mercadial supplied the hospital of Puy (now disappeared), whose vocation was the reception of the indigents and invalids. This district was urbanized in 1845 with the opening of a major commercial axis: the Grand Rue.
The fort and the tower
The current town hall was built in 1850 on the remains of the old episcopal hall, previously occupied by a Capuchin convent in the 18th century. Symbol of episcopal authority, the Romanesque tower surrounded by buttresses was erected in the 13th century, on the initiative of the Count-Bishop of Cahors. Its 4 levels of elevation (23m) are interrupted by the later summit parapet. The last level, provided with latrines (north-west facade) and a chimney, was doubtless assigned to the punctual reception of garrisons.
The pivotal position of this residence between the fort and the town reflects the special status of its owners, probably co-lords of Le Puy: the Ychier del Pech family, whose name was deformed into “Lychairie”. From its construction at the end of the 13th century, the building retains twin windows, decorated with portraits of members of the line.
The chapel of Saint-Michel or of the Penitents
Chapel formed before 1444 by combining two 13th century houses. In the 16th century, the chapel became the meeting place of a brotherhood of Blue Penitents, when the latter multiplied in the South. These lay brotherhoods participate in actions of devotion and piety, of which they are the first beneficiaries. South facade (rue des penitents) strongly redesigned at the end of the 19th century. Bell tower from 1910.
Place Bovila and sculpted coat of arms
This carved lintel representing a ship (15th century) comes from a gate of the lower town destroyed around 1750. Its motif was used for the current coat of arms of Puy-l'Evêque, made official in 1956. This district, the administrative heart of the city, sheltered houses of notables and the presbytery (building with round tower, at the angle of the place).
This mansion was built at the end of the 15th century, in a context of repopulation of Quercy, following the Hundred Years War, resulting in the establishment of new families of gentlemen. According to the characteristic model of the period, the round staircase tower incorporates an entrance door decorated with recurring motifs of Quercy ornamentation: stripped sticks (gnarled) and cross moldings. Only the hands enclosing the pinnacle are a single motif.
Hanging gardens and walk Marguerite Bessières
Pedestrian path between the upper town and the river, built in 2016 on the site of ruined medieval houses.
Remains of the rampart and of a gate giving access to the Bourroubert spring. Along the rue des capucins, medieval houses built on the rocky outcrop forming the second enclosure of the castrum.
In the 17th century, the river was improved by the construction of locks. Then develops the profession of boatman, dangerous and badly paid. This half-timbered house, an inexpensive construction technique, marks the entrance to the industrial districts.
Rue de la Cale: the lower town
Artisanal and industrial districts, pierced in the 19th century by the rue de la Cale. The names of the streets refer to the trades that were practiced there. Are visible: two mansions of the 15th and 16th centuries, recognizable by their round and protruding stair towers.
The different levels of the enclosure of Le Puy opened onto fortified gates. The Ramouneau gate, recognizable by its broken arch, is the only one preserved in the medieval town, marking the limits of the lower town. Along the Clédelles stream, views of the castrum.
The view of the city from the other side of the Lot is superb, it's an opportunity to cross and reach the pier to take your best shot!
Moulin du Pontonie
Flour mill built in the 17th century on 13th century foundations. Reconverted into a tannery from 1877 to 1930. The name “Pontonié” refers to the additional function of the miller: ferryman. This light boat, connected to ropes, was the only way to cross the Lot before the construction of bridges in the 19th century.
Bordering the old market square, this richly decorated 16th century gate bears witness to the building fever that characterized the Lot during the Renaissance. It boasts a decor freely restored during a 2008 restoration. Opposite the door, the old corn hall from 1841 can be identified by its large semi-circular arches.