Stage 1: Moissac to Massiac, a trip for French Culture

Stage 1: Moissac to Massiac, a trip for French Culture.

CENTRAL ROUTE

Stage 1/24 - 310 kms


0 km   Moissac

130 kms Carjac

25 kms Figeac

69 kms Jussac

94 kms  Massiac

carte moissac a massiac

France drew nearly 80 millions of foreign tourists in 2011, making it the world’s most popular tourist destination. France has 37 sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and boasts cities of high cultural interest, beaches, seaside and ski resorts. Rural regions will enable you to enjoy their beauty and quietness. Have a nice trip for the french culture !

Moissac : famous sites and routes of Santiago de Compostela

MOISSAC - France

MOISSAC - France © Pat on stock - Fotolia.com

Moissac is a French commune in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. It is located at the confluence of the Garonne and Tarn  on the Canal de Garonne. Moissac is world famous mostly for the artistic heritage preserved in the medieval Saint-Pierre Abbey. It is included in the World Heritage Site Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. There are important waterways in Moissac including the Tarn  flowing through the town centre, similar to the Canal de Garonne, formerly sideways canal to the Garonne, the extension of the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to Bordeaux. Together, these two canals are sometimes known as the Canal des Deux Mers, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

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Cajarc : a medieval city steeped in history

Cajarc is a French commune located in south-western France. It is a stop on the Via Podensis, the medieval pilgrimage route from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, but also attracts tourists due to its medieval town centre, its water body, a 4 km-long channel dam and its beautiful setting in the Lot valley and the surrounding limestone plains. Its major cultural event is Africajarc, a four-day festival of contemporary African music and culture which takes place in the last week of July each year.

Cajarc’s historic centre is surrounded by wide boulevards which are in the position of the town’s original defensive walls. Narrow alleys to the sides of the main streets provide a glimpse of a town untouched over the centuries, while part of the original 13th century castle can still be seen in the main street running through the centre. The most interesting buildings include the Maison des Consuls, a substantial 15th century town house, and a neighbouring Romanesque style house dating from the 12th century. On the edge of the town, the Lot River is crossed by a 19th century suspension bridge (which has replaced a medieval stone bridge destroyed during the wars of religion) and has a large “water body”, a section of the river where recreational boating and other activities are popular.

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Causses du Quercy Regional Park

Created in 1999, the Causses du Quercy Regional Nature Park, established on 176 000 hectares, forms a wide strip running north to south through the middle of the Lot department. Almost 29,000 people live in this regional nature park, which, in 2007, signed the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.  From the Gouffre de Padirac to the village of Lalbenque, capital of the Quercy black truffle, the area is made up of landscapes magnificently shaped by water namely the water of the Lot and Célé rivers as well as the water seeping through the deep cracks in the Causses limestone. The surface is jagged by dozens of cliffs and canyons and covered with vast stretches of grassland, cooled by areas of stunted oak forests. Beneath your feet, swallow holes and resurgence points make up an underground world together. In fact, it is therefore not surprising that this regional nature park his reputed for white water sports, rock climbing and caving. In addition, it is home to 22 sites of outstanding ecological interest and 2 sensitive natural environments that you can explore along interpretation trails.

You can also admire the magnificent vernacular architecture built by local farmers, a wonderful example of dry-stone construction, in other words, buildings without using a binder or mortar of any kind. The houses of character and beautiful villages, long walls lining the paths, the huts, fountains and wash houses, small barns and water from cazelle are an evidence of man’s age-old occupation of the land. Lastly, the Park is home to four of the Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées such as the ancient town of Rocamadour, the village of Saint Cirq-Lapopie and the cave paintings of Pech Merle, as well as the towns of Cahors and Figeac, lying on the edge of the park.

Figeac : a town of art and history, great festival !

Figeac France

Figeac - France
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Founded in 830 around a Benedictine abbey, the medieval town of Figeac became prosperous in the 13th century thanks to its central strategic location which promoted agriculture and trade. Figeac is famous for its exceptional medieval heritage. The oldest houses date back to the 12th century and many are from the 13th and 14th centuries, when Figeac was a thriving town of rich merchants.

Plan a visit to Figeac in autumn for “Les Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days)”. During the third weekend of September, several listed monuments open their doors to the public and offer free entrance and guided tours. Come to Figeac for the “Graine de Moutards” festival in the winter for two weeks of cultural events for children, with theatre, cinema and guided tours. Also discover the famous most-visited monument “La Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Pitié,” the tiny chapel, with beautiful carved wood panels, is inside the Church of Saint-Sauveur. Also have lunch at the “l’Allée des Vignes” gourmet restaurant. The best way to see Figeac is to walk through the town following the panels with push-buttons!

Lady of "Mas Noyer"

Lady of "Mas Noyer" is a chapel erected to pay homage to the apparition of Virgin Mary to a blind man, in Faycelles. During her apparition, the Virgin Mary healed the visually disabled of his blindness. This was thus an evidence of God’s Grace. As a result, a small chapel was built on the site, dedicated to Our Lady of "Mas Noyer". Since then, a local pilgrimage takes place there.

Lady of Verdale

Lady of Verdale is a very famous place of interest on the Tolerme. This site became a known pilgrimage place thanks to the little girl who was able to treat sick persons suffering from a plague epidemic. A chapel was built in her memory after her death. Today, a large number of people still visit the very old pilgrimage site at Our Lady of Verdale today. The chapel stands on top of a rocky outcrop. Another chapel was built there after the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a shepherdess. This appearance was the result of the discovery of a wooden statue of the Child and the Virgin.

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Jussac : Valley, river and history

Jussac is located in the Auvergne region, in the south centre of France. Popular places to visit near Jussac include Aurillac 7 km away and Tournemire 9 km away. Aurillac is a pleasant place to spend some time and to immerse in the atmosphere. It has several churches and buildings of interest and a river flows through it. As for Tournemire, it is a village to be explored at all costs. It is ranked among the “most beautiful villages of France”. The village lies on a hill covered with trees overlooking the valley of the Dora River and falls in the Cantal mountains at the southern edge of Auvergne Volcanoes Natural Park. The village’s history is related to two families – the Tournemire and the Anjony concerning their battles to rule over the village.

Lady of Pity and her Cathedral

 This square-planned chapel was added to the consistory of 1325-30, thanks to the merchant William Bauchon’s generosity. The elaborate tierceron (lierne) vault and the window were built in 1460. The dedication to Our Lady of Pity is based on the theme of the corbel, a Pieta (the crucified Christ in his mother’s arms), immediately above the altar. The stained glass window in the chapel depicts many key Benedictine personalities, including the founder of this cathedral, Bishop Herbert de Losinga, who is shown standing in front of his new cathedral. The Norwich Cathedral’s mission statement reminisces three key Benedictine principles of its founder namely worship hospitality and learning. The chapel also houses a modern fine sculpture of Mary coming out of the niche on the north side of the altar.

Massiac : an opportunity to visit this small tourist village

Massiac France

Massiac France
© zebeloune22 - Fotolia.com

The village of Massiac is a small French village located in the centre of France. Massiac’s population was 1 849 in 1999, 1 822 in 2006 and 1 825 in 2007. The number of houses in Massiac was 1 167 in 2007.   These homes of Massiac consist of 822 main residences, 174 secondary or occasional homes and 171 vacant homes. The village is now trying to promote the tourism sector in its favour.

Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park

The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park is France’s largest regional nature park, consisting of over 395 000 hectares of glaciers, lakes, hilly landscapes, plateaus and volcanic grounds. Popular activities include hiking, biking, horse riding, rock climbing, paragliding and hot-air balloon flight. Although this region of Auvergne welcomes many visitors, the vastness of space guarantees that even in July and August, you can find empty trails and quiet spots to enjoy magnificent and varied scenery. The Volcanoes Regional Nature Park is located in the Auvergne region of central France, at the northwest angle of the Central Massif. Spread over two French departments, the park is over 120 km long from the north to the south and holds four distinct chains of extinct volcanoes.

Notre Dame de Vauclaire 

This small one-nave edifice features a portal with sculpted arch mouldings. Above, there are one to six rose window lobes and a small wall belfry with only one bay belfry. The masterpiece is undoubtedly the stucco-covered wooden statue of Notre-Dame de Vauclair dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. This Black Madonna is majestically seated on the “throne of wisdom”, draped in a long veil with concentric folds.

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