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Carennac, Lot

Pretty village situated to the east of the Dordogne in Lot

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Carennac is one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France' and it's easy to see why. The blonde stone and red-brown roofs of its buildings have tall chimneys and are adorned with creepers that turn red in the autumn.

This small village is steeped in history and has several important buildings that worth exploring. If you are interested in the art and heritage of the Dordogne region then this is the place to come. The Heritage centre offers a complete insight into the region's traditions and ways of life. Wandering through the narrow streets offers a wonderful view into rural French life, with local residents, cats and chickens enjoying the peace and tranquility of the town.

History & Culture in Carennac

This site on the banks of the Dordogne river has been ccupied since the Gallo-Roman period, but it wasn't until the Abbey of Cluny founded priory here in 1047 that it became known. The priory dates from the 11th century though the buildings which remain today date from the 15th century. Part of the abbey fortifications, the Romanesque Eglise Saint-Pierre, has impressive preserved cloisters and a 15th century preserved Entombment of Christ.

After a long period of prosperity, the monastic town was ravaged by the Hundred Years War and rebuilt in the late 15th-century. The village then joined the new art of the Renaissance and the Deans Castle was built along the north side of the church. The castle now houses the Country of Art and History.

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Sights & Attractions in Carennac

The church and the amazing preserved cloisters are the main draw, once you've enjoyed the stunning entrance and floral reception to the town of course. Set within the walled area of the town the 'Cour du Prieure' is a small courtyard that houses the Eglise Saint-Pierre and its cloister. 

To the south of the town you will find the infamous Gouffre de Padirac, an underground world of lakes, rivers and spectacular calcified rock formations. Directly to the east lies the town of Bretenoux and the Chateau de Castelnau. This red brick fortified castles dates back to the 13th-century and high above the plains below on a tree-covered hilltop.

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Attractions in Dordogne

Things to Do in Carennac

As this town sits right on the banks of the river Dordogne it is the perfect place to take advantage and spend some time on the water. Canoeing, kayaking, or why not combine some wild camping with a canoe trip? Carennac Aventure offers all of these things and is situated just at the bottom of the village right on the Dordogne banks.

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Dining in Carennac

There are a few restaurants in the vicinity offering a good choice of lunch time and evening meals as well as day-time snacks and tapas. This small village is certainly a good place to stop for a bite to eat if you are passing through the area.

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Where to Eat in Dordogne

Hotels in Carennac

Being a small village there is not a huge choice of accommodation, however, the Hostellerie Fenelon offers good accommodation in this calm and tranquil village. There are also several B&B's near by. If you prefer a most luxurious night then you will a good selection of hotels in Rocamadour, to the south-west of Ccarennac.

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How to get to Carennac

Situated on the banks of the Dordogne river, this town is technically in the Lot region, to the east of the Dordogne region. Centrally placed between Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Rocamadour, this makes a very pleasant stop over on any trip throughout this part of the region. 

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