Remarkable testimony to medieval architecture, the Valentré bridge is classified as a Historic Monument and has been listed since 1998 on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Paths of Santiago de Compostela.
The construction of the Valentré Bridge
In 1306, the consuls of the city of Cahors decide on the construction of a bridge at a place called "Valandre", on the western part of the meander of Cahors. Two other bridges then existed at Cahors : the Vieux bridge to the south and the Neuf bridge to the east.
The first stone of the new work of art was solemnly laid in 1308 by the First Consul Géraud de Sabanac. The construction site will last nearly 70 years, giving rise to the legend according to which the devil would have brought his assistance to the architect. In 1345 one can circulate on the deck, the three towers being probably completed only around 1380, despite the crises of the Hundred Years War.
The Valentré bridge restored in 1880
Mentioned in 1840 in the first list of Historic Monuments, the Valentré Bridge was restored around 1880 by the architect Paul Gout, who had the local artist Cyprien-Antoine Calmon sculpt a little devil at the top of the central tower.
With a length of 172 meters, the Valentré bridge has eight arches, falling on piles equipped with a forepeak. It has three towers, of which only the two placed on the banks were fortified with battlements and arrow slits. Each end was originally protected by a châtelet, these elements having almost disappeared nowadays.
The Valentré bridge is pedestrian since 1995.
The Valentré Bridge in color
Throughout the year, the Pont Valentré de Cahors will illuminate at nightfall in different colors. A symbolism, a particular event, the bridge is always on the lookout.
Highlights of the Pont Valentré
- 14 February : Valentine's Day: in pink
- 8 March: women's rights day: in pink
- 17 March: St. Patrick's Day: in green
- 20 March: spring: in green
- last Saturday in March: Earth Hour: no light
- Easter: Rainbow
- April 22: World Earth Day: blue
- 8 may: Armistice: blue white red
- 17 may: international day against homophobia: rainbow
- 21 June: summer and music festival: in yellow
- end of June : river festival: in blue
- 14 July: National holiday: blue white red
- during July: Blues festival: red
- 17 August anniversary of the liberation of Cahors : blue White Red
- end of September : Autumn in orange
- first weekend of October and last 4 days of the 2nd week: pink october: in pink
- October 31: Halloween: in orange
- November 11: Armistice 1918: blue white red
- 1st December : international day against AIDS: in red
- end December : for winter: in blue
- Christmas : red and white sparkles from 21 p.m.