•Lot (46300) • Population: 5,086 • Altitude: 264 m
Gourdon (Lot) is a Medieval village located on a small hill overlooking the surrounding countryside, and the old village streets are arranged in a circle around the ancient center.
The main street is a "ring road" that circles the inner Medieval village, and most of the shops and stores are along this main street. There are shops for just about everything here, including one of our favorite types: an ancient, small hardware-household shop that has absolutely everything.
There are lots of terrace cafés along the main drag, so sitting in the shade and watching the world go buy is an easy option here.
The old town streets are very interesting, well worth wandering through, examining ancient architecture, carved wooden doorways, or heading up to the top for the great view.
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History of Gourdon (Lot)
Gourdon is the capital of La Bouriane, an area in the northern part of the ancient province of Quercy that was centered at Cahors.
Prehistoric: There are a large number of prehistoric remains around Gourdon.
Celto-Ligurian: A dolmen is located beside the small Céou river by the hamlet of Costeraste, 4 km to the southwest.
Gallo-Roman: Gallo-Roman remains were discovered at Champ de l'Abbé, also by the hamlet of Costeraste, 4 km to the southwest.
Medieval: Gourdon was a center of resistance against the English during the Hudred Years' War (Guerre de Cent Ans), 1337 to 1453. The castle of Gourdon was taken and burnt during this period. Restored in the 16th century, the castle was completely razed by the Duc de Mayenn because Pons de Lauzières-Thémines sided with Marie de Médicis against Louis XIII.
• GPS: 44.735773, 1.380623
IGN (1/25,000) #2037 E "Gourdon"
For walkers/hikers, the Office de Tourisme had eight interesting loop-walks based in eight different villages of the area. Each walk is presented on a color brochure of heavy paper, with photo, map, and instructions. All free.
The collection we obtained included hikes centered on the little villages of Concorès, Gordon - St Clair, Lamothe-Cassel, Montamel, St Chamarand, St Germain-du-Bel-Air (Sentier du Cayret) and Uzech.
Other hiking brochures unavailable at that moment were for Payrignac, Peyrilles, St St Germain-du-Bel-Air (Sentier de Boissole) and Soucirac.
These are all easy half-day hikes (or less) and we went on a few of them. All were very interesting, following lovely forest paths and sometimes little roads through farming country. All were mostly shady, with good trail surfaces (packed dirt, for example, rather that stones). The trails we found to be consistently well marked, to the point where the hiking brochures were for interest only.