A remarkable example of mediaeval architecture, the Valentré Bridge has been an UNESCO World Heritage Listed site since 1998, as it is part of the Santiago Pilgrim route.
There is a legend about the Valentré Bridge in Cahors, but this pedestrian bridge will tell its own story to anyone who ventures across it… the story of how it was built !
It developed into a fortress defending the western side of the Cahors peninsula, and took well over half a century to complete. The process took so long that a legend was born…
"The Devil of the Valentré Bridge"
Here is an extract from it :
Cahors, June 1308…. The City Fathers decided to build a fortified bridge over the Lot at the place known as "Le Valandre", to protect the city from future invasions (there had already been the Barbarians, the Normans etc.) An architect was chosen, but the work proceeded very slowly….. Exasperated by the slow pace of construction, the architect signed a pact with Satan. If the latter put all his skill into advancing the building work and carried out all the orders he received, the architect would give him his soul as payment. What ruse did the architect have in mind to get the bridge built quickly yet retain his soul ?
Like to know more ?
A guided tour of the Valentré Bridge organised by the Grand Cahors Tourist Office will reveal the end of the story to you.
A cartoon book by Joël Polomski recounts this legend. As for the Devil, he is still there, of course, carved in stone… it's up to you to find him !
From April to October, you can also observe the Valentré Bridge of Cahors from the river during a 1hr 30 mins boat trip around the Cahors peninsula or on a day's cruise down the Lot Valley with a meal included.
What makes the visit special/fun ?
- Finding where the devil is hidden
- Being in prime position for watching boats going through the lock
- Posing in a recess over one of the bridge's cutwaters to capture the moment for ever
- Going back in Time as you walk across the cobblestones
- Strolling around without having to worry about cars