Gramat was a lively town in the Middle Ages, and evidence shows that as far back as prehistoric times there has been a settlement here - there are various dolmen and burial mounds in the vicinity of the town.
The town then had a resurgence at the end of the 19th century when it became an important train stop that brought renewed wealth and vigour to the town. Now it forms the third corner of the Rocamadour-Padirac-Gramat region which contains several attractions, both of historic interest and more recent man-made features.
The town centre of Gramat is a pleasant place to explore with several interesting buildings and monuments of interest, the most important among them being the 16th century clock tower and the old town towards the river and around Rue St Roch.
There are also some medieval houses, some with attractive decoration and some half-timbered houses to discover, and some 19th century townhouses around the central town square (the market hall here dates from the 19th century).
Near Gramat railway station you can visit the gardens of the convent - Les Jardins du Grand Couvent - for a very pleasant shady walk through the flowers and tree shaded gardens.
Weekly markets in Gramat are held each tuesday and friday morning in the Place de la Halle.
The most important attraction in Gramat - certainly for the children but also for adults - is the animal park. The Parc Animalier covers a large area of 40 hectares, and has animals as diverse as bisons and ducks, wolves and vultures - and numerous domestic animals living in semi-wild conditions, as well as protected plant species. Many of the animals you see are now protected species and the animal park has an important role in their protection.
There is a great deal to discover among the attractive countryside around Gramat, including the important pilgrimage town of Rocamadour (one of the most popular destinations in France) and the villages of Autoire and Loubressac (both classified among the 'most beautiful villages of France').
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Address: Gramat, Gourdon, Lot, Midi-Pyrenees, 46500, France || GPS: latitude 44.7797, longitude 1.72583
The French version of this page is at Gramat (Francais)