Saint-Cere, Lot: tourism & sightseeing
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Saint-Céré is a market town in the Lot department of the Midi-Pyrenees, in the Bave River valley, where it sits below the hill with Saint-Laurent-les-Tours above.
The town is quite a lively, bustling destination and well placed to explore this attractive region: it also very much deserves an exploration, because it has several interesting sites to discover.
France This Way comment: even more than in most towns, I strongly recommend that start your visit at the Saint-Céré tourist office (in avenue François de Maynard near the main car park / square), because there are some fascinating medieval and turreted houses that you may miss if you don't follow the suggested route through the town (especially around Rue St Cyr) There is lots to see and enjoy here but some of the highlights are rather hidden away.
The centre of Saint-Céré is quite compact and based around two main squares, the Place du Mercadial and the Place de l'Eglise These two squares are together surrounded by the medieval centre of the town, with narrow streets and ancient houses. There are quite a few half-timbered houses here, with the oldest house in the town in Rue Paramelle.
The Place du Mercadial is very attractive with some impressive buildings to admire (probably restaurants as well but we visited in winter early in the morning so I can't be sure!). The principal building in the square is the 15th century Maison des Consuls.
In the smaller Place de l'Eglise the main monument is the Church of Saint-Sperien with origins dating back to the 10th century.
After exploring the old town in Saint-Céré take a walk along the river at the Quai des Recollets. The town calls itself 'Little Venice' which in truth is something of an over-enthusiastic claim to make but there are a few buildings of interest here on the river side, which is now canalised.
You can now head up the hill to discover the ruins of the castle at Saint-Laurent-les-Tours. The main part of the castle dates from the 12th and 15th centuries, and although the hill is only 200 metres high it has lovely views across Saint-Céré and the countryside.
Workshop and Museum of Jean Lurçat at Saint-Céré
The Chateau de Saint-Laurent-les-Tours played an important role in recent history when the artist Jean Lurçat operated a secret wartime radio for the French resistance from here. As a result there is a very interesting museum here of his art work, typically large and colourful tapestries and paintings: we recommend you visit to see both the building and the artworks, even if you have never heard of Jean Lurcat!
Highlights in and around Saint-Cere are numerous with a great deal to explore and several of the 'most beautiful villages in France' are found nearby. Just two kilometres from the town there is an impressive renaissance style castle called the Chateau de Montal, more typical of castles you might expect to discover in the Loire Valley.
Photos of Saint-Cere
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Map of Saint-Cere and places nearby
Visit near Saint-Cere with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Lot
Address: Saint-Céré, Figeac, Midi-Pyrenees, 46400, France || GPS: latitude 44.8597, longitude 1.89167
Plan your visit to Saint-Cere, Lot
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Chateau Montal: national monument (2 km)
- Autoire: most beautiful village (6 km)
- Castelnau-Bretenoux Chateau: national monument (7 km)
- Loubressac: most beautiful village (7 km)
- Gouffre de Padirac: site of natural beauty (11 km)
- Carennac: most beautiful village (14 km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre (Carennac): religious monument (14 km)
- Gouffre des Vitarelles: site of natural beauty (18 km)
- Curemonte: most beautiful village (19 km)
- Assier Chateau: national monument (21 km)
- Rocamadour: grand site of france (23 km)
- Rocamadour basilique Saint-Sauveur (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (23 km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Cere (Francais)