The Capitol Cahors

Cahors was built along a U-shaped bend of the Le Lot River. The city’s history dates as far back as Celtic times when it was known as “Divona (fountain) of the Cadurci”, named after Celtic tribe who controlled the territory before the Roman invasion. Remaining statues and monuments stand testament to importance and growth of the city during the Roman Gaul period. Notably, the city’s history includes some notoriety in the late Middle Ages from being named in Dante’s Inferno in the same breath as Sodom for the wicked practice of usury, considered a sin at the time. Despite experiencing decline following the Middle Ages, losing L'université de Cahors in 1751 (founded 1331), Cahors remains the long-standing seat of local governance today.


Tourism serves as the region's lifeblood. Rocamadour, the impossible stone city rising up a cliff to the towering church of Notre Dame, is the best known tourist site, attracting one million visitors a year. Less know sites provide more opportunities to explore, chief among them the Pech Merle cave that serves as a mind-bending gallery for prehistoric artwork (by very early Lotois) dated to the Gravettian culture (some 25,000 years BC). Le Lot’s landscape itself provides endless opportunities to explore, from the underground boat rides beneath the Padirac Chasm (Gouffre de Padirac) to bathing in the freshwater pools below Autoire’s waterfall. For those seeking more of the wild side, summer months offers a steady stream of outdoor concerts, Fêtes de Village, and electronic raves.

Food and Wine

Tourists will find no shortage of reasonable to upscale establishments serving the region’s traditional gastronomy. Expect pâté, fois gras or charcuterie in entrée, côte d'agneau or magret de canard for the main, and a local Cabécou (goat) and/or Cantal entre-deux (cow) cheese followed by dessert. Truffles and Girolle mushrooms abound. Although the days of workmen breaking for prix fixe lunches and wine in village restaurants that could be confused for homes are almost over, hidden gems remain for those who know where to go.


About Live Le Lot

Live Le Lot began with a small community of Lotois and expatriates sharing information on upcoming local music events, art exhibits, nature hikes and restaurants. Tourism sites, gastronomic traditions, and natural beauty of Le Lot are reason enough to visit. Those seeking to connect with the area's rich history and local culture will find a warm welcome from Le Lot's inhabitants (Les Lotois). Don't be fooled by the sleepy towns and stone houses that pepper the countryside. Le Lot enjoys a vibrant, modern culture open to all who wish to live Le Lot.    

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The Early Days

Le Lot’s official beginning dates back to March 4, 1790 pursuant to the French National Assembly’s Loi du 22 décembre 1789 relative à la constitution des assemblées primaires et des assemblées administratives following the French Revolution. Under this new system of local governance, the Kingdom of France was divided into eighty-three official Departments comprised of three to nine districts, further divided into cantons of about 10 square kilometers in area. Significant southern parts of the pre-revolution districting, including the City of Mautauban and its sizeable population, were transferred to the department of Tarn-et-Garronne adjoining Le Lot to the southwest.

The region's real geographical boundaries date back much further to France’s Ancient Regime of the French Monarchy in the sixteenth and seventeen century. At that time, Le Lot was part of the ancient province of La Guyenne, one of France’s largest provinces that spread from the seaside capitol of Bordeaux in the East all the way to Aveyron in the West. In turn, La Guyenne sprung from Aquitania, an ancient non-Indo-European population that migrated from the slopes of the Pyrenees, who were conquered by Julius Caesar in his defeat of Gaul.

The intervening centuries tell a tale of successive dominion, from conquest by the Kings of England in the 12th century to the 15th century when La Guyenne was finally conquered by the French crown in 1451.  Le Lot’s rustic stone walls demarcating fields and winding country roads stand to this day.   

live le lot

About Le Lot

Located in the heart of France’s Southwest Midi-Pyrénées region, the Department du Lot (Le Lot) is home to approximately 175,000 inhabitant known as the Lotois who reside in rural communities and small cities. Le Lot’s namesake, the Lot River, rises in the Lozère before as a spring making its way 481 kilometres (km) through Aveyron, Cantal, and Le Lot before finding its way as a right tributary of the Garron in Lot-et-Garron. The river's path winds its way through five départements. The passage between Saint-Côme-d’Olt and Estaing is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.