Rocamadour village is a commune in the Lot department in south-western France. Rocamadour has attracted visitors for its setting in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne, and especially for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has attracted pilgrims from every country, among them kings, bishops, and nobles
The town below the complex of monastic buildings and pilgrimage churches, traditionally dependent on the pilgrimage site and now on the tourist trade, lies near the river on the lowest slopes; it gives its name to Rocamadour, a small goat’s milk cheese that was awarded AOC status in 1996.
Rocamadour was a dependency of the abbey of Tulle to the north in the Bas Limousin. The buildings of Rocamadour rise in stages up the side of a cliff on the right bank of the Alzou, which here runs between rocky walls 120 metres (390 ft) in height. Flights of steps ascend from the lower town to the churches, a group of massive buildings half-way up the cliff.
The interior walls of the church of St Sauveur are covered, with paintings and inscriptions recalling the pilgrimages of celebrated persons. The subterranean church of St Amadour (1166) extends beneath St Sauveur and contains relics of the saint. On the summit of the cliff stands the château built in the Middle Ages to defend the sanctuaries.
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