Capdenac travel guide

Photo of Capdenac

Visit Capdenac (Occitanie, France)

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A few kilometres south of Figeac, the village of Capdenac falls in two parts - Capdenac Gare and Capdenac-le-Haut. It is the second of these, on a hill overlooking the Lot Valley and the town of Figeac, that is most interesting to visitors and is now listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.

The location was occupied in prehistoric times, later becoming a fortified centre for the gauls, and possibly the last defensive outpost against the invading forces of Caesar. In medieval times it was a successful village that repelled the English dueig the Hundred Years War although Capdenac sufferd a great deal during the Wars of Religion.

Explore Capdenac-le-Haut

France This Way review: Capdenac is a pretty and interesting village so we suggest you make a detour here when you are nearby.

For such a small village there is a surprising amount to see and appreciate in Capdenac. Start your visit by parking just below the village walls and looking at the view across Figeac and Capdenac-Gare, and the large meander in the Lot river below the village.

donjon in Capdenac

Strolling up the hill passed the remains of ancient village ramparts take the road to the right which passes the large square tower, called the 'Tour de Modon'. This donjon was built in the 14th century as a military fortification and lodgement for the soldiers. From the terrace of the donjon you have a lovely view across the countryside.

Slightly hidden up a flight of stairs just behind the tower there is a small medieval garden that overlooks the centre of the village and Capdenac church.

The Church of Saint-Jean the Baptist looks ancient but was actually built in the 18th century (1727 is engraved above one of the windows) to replace an earlier convent that had fallen into disrepair, and has a small statue of Saint-John the Baptist in in a niche above the classical style doorway.

The main village of Capdenac is spread out in front of you from here. To the right you can see the small church, and beyond that there is a belvedere with lovely views overlooking a wide meander in the Lot Valley. Straight ahead of you is the town hall (also in an attractive building).

 
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Behind the town hall you can explore the warren of picturesque medieval streets, such as the Rue de la Peyrolerie, originally one of the principal roads through the village and a centre for the manufacture of copper pots.

One of the most impressive buildings in the village is the Maison des Gardes, next to the Porte Narbonnaise. This medieval building is a good example of civil (non military) architecture in Capdenac. 

As part of the ramparts in the village you can also see three of the original fortified gateways into Capdenac: the Porte Narbonnaise, just above the ruins of an ancient tower; the Porte de Gergovie, once the main access to the town although now largly in ruins, and the the Porte Comtale, the last in the series of five defensive arches that started with the Porte de Gergovie.

Fontaine des Anglais

Behind these streets you abruptly reach a cliff and a flight of steps that lead steeply down to a fountain called the 'Fontaine des Anglais'. This water source is divided between two basins of water, one oval and lined with lead and one rectangular, and has origins dating back 2000 years to the ancient roman era.

Having access to a water source was of course a key requirement to ancient villages trying to resist when under siege, and this source was especially essential when Capdenac was besieged by the English during the Hundred Years War.

Note: there is a closed door part of the way down the staircase that needs a code from Capdenac tourist office to open ad gain access to the fontaine.

view of street in Capdenac village

Attractions nearby

There are numerous highlights in the region around Capdenac including picturesque villages and towns, castles and the scenery of the Lot Valley.

Enthusiasts of beautiful villages will want to visit Cardaillac, another 'most beautiful village of France', while the town of Figeac is one of the most impressive medieval towns in south-west France.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Lot guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also: 

Photos of Capdenac

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Map of Capdenac and places nearby

 
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Visit near Capdenac with France This Way reviews

Figeac

Figeac

The market town of Figeac has many interesting historic buildings and streets to explore - one of our favourite towns in this region

Figeac guide
Faycelles

Faycelles

Although quite small, take the time to stroll around Faycelles when you are in this region

Faycelles guide
Peyrusse-le-Roc

Peyrusse-le-Roc

Peyrusse-le-Roc is most unusual in having the small village to explore, and also the chance to walk through the remains of the more ancient village

Peyrusse-le-Roc guide
Cardaillac

Cardaillac

Cardaillac is a small, unspoiled village now listed among the 'most beautiful in France'

Cardaillac guide
Maurs

Maurs

In Maurs you can see the Abbey Church of Saint-Cesaire and half-timbered houses in the medieval town centre

Maurs guide
Lacapelle-Marival

Lacapelle-Marival

The castle, medieval gateway and market hall are among the highlights in Lacapelle-Marival

Lacapelle-Marival guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Lot

Address: Capdenac, Figeac-Ouest, Figeac, Midi-Pyrenees, 46100, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.581667, longitude 2.07

Plan your visit to Capdenac, Lot

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Capdenac (Francais)

 
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