Saint-Céré

Saint-Céré grew thanks to the
traffic of pilgrims visiting the
tomb of St Spérie, which stands
here. In the 12th century
craftsmen settled and markets
were established. The town
suffered as a result of
epidemics and wars, but
regained some of its
splendour in the 17th century.
Remains of past prosperity
can be seen in rue du Mazel,
with the 15th-century Hôtel
d’Auzier and the 17th-century
Maison Queyssac, and in
impasse Lagarouste, with its
half-timbered corbelled
houses. Hôtel d’Ambert, in
rue Saint-Cyr, has turrets and
a Renaissance doorway. Rue
Paramelle leads to Maison
Longueval, a 15th-century
turreted house, and the 15thcentury
Hôtel de Puymule, in
the Flamboyant Gothic style.
The church contains an 18thcentury
marble altarpiece and
has a Carolingian crypt. On a
plateau above the town are
the Tours de Saint-Laurent, a
13th- and a 15th-century
keep, all that remains of the
castle. In 1945, they were
acquired by Jean Lurçat
(1882–1966), the painter and
tapestry maker, and are now
a museum-workshop.
There are also many artists’
and craftsmen’s studios in
Saint-Céré itself.

 

Atelier-Musée Jean-Lurçat
Tel (05) 65 38 28 21.
# Easter; 14 Jul–Sep: daily.

Environs
The Château de Montal, 2km
(1 mile) from Saint-Céré, was
stripped of its finest architectural
elements in the 19th
century. However, thanks to
the work of Maurice Fenaille
(1855-1937), the castle’s 16thand
17th-century tapestries
and furniture have been
restored to their original
setting. The 15th-century
circular towers frame a
beautiful Renaissance courtyard
with a double staircase.
A 17th-century Aubusson
tapestry hangs in the
guardroom. The upper floor
rooms have ceilings with
exposed beams.

Château de Montal
Saint-Jean Lespinasse.
Tel (05) 65 38 13 72.
# Easter–Sep: daily; Oct–Easter:
Wed–Sun.