Martel

£ Quatre-Routes.
n Palais de la Raymondie, Place des
Consuls; (05) 65 37 43 44. ( Wed
& Sat, am. www.martel.fr
Once the seat of the
Vicomte de Turenne,
Martel has seven towers,
including the bell tower of
its fortified Gothic church,
which is pierced with arrow
slits. Visitors can also see the
remains of the 12th–14thcentury
ramparts, the
13th–14th-century Palais de
la Raymondie – which houses
a museum of early history,
including Gallo-Roman
artifacts – and the 18thcentury
covered market.
As well as the regular
twice-weekly
markets, a truffle
market is held
here in winter.

 

Environs
7km (4 miles) south of Martel
on the N140 is the pre-
Romanesque church at
Creysse. It is unusual in having
two identical apses against the
straight wall of its east end.
The nave follows the rocky
spur’s convex shape. The
church’s interior is not open
to the public. The village,
which has attractive houses
roofed in various styles, lies
between the course of
the Dordogne and
walnut orchards.

From 1681 to 1695,
Fénelon was prior of
the fortified monastery
at Carennac, 18km (11
miles) southeast of Martel
via the D103, then the
D20. All that remains
of the monastery are
the dean’s residence, now a
local tourist office, the church,
with an arresting depiction of
the Last Judgment in the
tympanum, and the cloister
and chapter room. The village,
opposite the Île de la Calypso,
an island in the river, is dotted
with interesting old houses.

With its lofty setting, the
village of Loubressac, 20km
(12 miles) southeast of Martel,
offers a wide view of the Cère,
Bave and Dordogne valleys.
From here the Château de
Castelnau, Saint-Céré and the
towers of Saint-Laurent can
be seen. Inside the ramparts,
narrow streets wind between
the ochre-coloured houses,
some of which are covered
with cascades of flowers.