Sarlat grew up around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin.
It became a prosperous town at the onset of the Middle Ages and many medieval elements can be seen today like the belltower-porch, lanterne des morts (burial chapel), chapelle Saint-Benoît, the façade of the chapter house in the courtyard of the long gone cloister and the carved fanlight from the church of Saint-Jean.
Decoration dating from the Renaissance, when architecture received fresh impetus, is responsible for the present day character of the town, where Gothic houses stand side by side with 16th century mansions like the well-known Maison de la Boétie.
For all that, Sarlat is not a prisoner of its past. It has developed over the centuries into a modern town with a history so rich that around 2 million people a year visit it seeking tradition, nature, cultural heritage and gastronomy.
In 2001, the former church of Sainte-Marie was converted into a covered market by the architect Jean Nouvel. The contrasting effect between the restored ancient building and the addition of contemporary elements brings together past and present.
The outdoor market is an essential event for all food lovers. Depending on the time of year you can find foie gras, ceps, duck confit and magret, truffles, walnuts, strawberries and other delicious local speciality produce to tickle your taste buds in a friendly, colourful, fragrant atmosphere.
Unusual places to see in the medieval town of Sarlat
A unique experience ! Take the panoramic lift to the top of the bell tower of the church of Sainte-Marie and enjoy a 360° view of the town through the picture windows with its cobbled streets, sandy coloured buildings and lauze-roofs.
Sarlat the film star !
The number three film-making venue in France, Sarlat is the ideal backdrop for all scenes from the Middle Ages. Many well-known films have been shot there including Les Misérables, La Fille de D'Artagnan (Revenge of the Musketeers) and Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc).
Sarlat holds a film festival every November which is attended by numerous artists.
A full programme of quality events takes place throughout the year in Sarlat-la-Canéda :
Fête de la Truffe (truffle fair) in January, Fest’oie (goose fair) in March, Easter egg hunt in April, La Ringueta (traditional games and sports) and Journées du Terroir (local speciality foods) in May, Sarlat Swing-it (jazz and swing) and Festival des Arts en Folie (Arts) in June, Festival des Jeux du Théâtre (drama) in July and August, Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days) and Journée du Goût et de la Gastronomie (local food) in September, Festival du Film in November and Marché de Noël (Christmas market) in December.
In addition, a wide range of events, visits, outdoor activities and leisure activities for children and adults.
The Sarladais area comprises 13 villages with plenty of interesting places to see : Sarlat, Beynac et Cazenac, La Roque-Gageac, Vitrac-Montfort, Marcillac St Quentin, Marquay, Proissans, Saint André d’Allas, Ste Nathalène, St Vincent de Cosse, St Vincent le Paluel, Tamniès and Vézac.
Continue your tour by visiting the Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac (gardens) 14km away.
Contact : OFFICE DE TOURISME SARLAT PERIGORD NOIR, 3 rue de Tourny, 24200 SARLAT LA CANEDA
SatNav : Lat. 44.888524 Long. 1.216686"