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Capdenac-Le-Haut


The village of Capdenac-le-Haut sits perched atop a 100 meter rocky cliff shaped as a peninsula overlooking the Lot valley.  Inhabited since prehistoric times, the ramparts include three ancient fountains dated to the Gauls and Romans. A 15th Century dungeon greets visitors at the entrance of the village, now housing the village's tourism center. The village is known for its lively activities throughout the year, including morning markets (Wednesdays in July and August), night fairs and medieval reenactments. It earned its title as one of France's Most Beautiful Villages in June 2010.

Capdenac was then occupied by the Celts who ruled until their invasion by Julius Caear in 51 BC. The Roman period is generally associated with a period of decline before a Visigothic chief, Gisbert Eschriniol, took possession of the village and surnamed it Caput Denasci. The Visigoths ruled the fortress from 477 to 530 before they were expelled by Thierry, son of Clovis. This was followed by a period of significant conflit. The Saracens, who plundered the city, were driven out by Charles Martel. Pepin the Short took siege of Capdenac in 778 during his war against Waifre, the last king of Aquitaine. A noble family surnamed the Knights of Capdenac controlled the region from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The Templars and Hospitallers also called the village home.


Capdenac's Museum on the pre-historic period, Gallo-Roman era and the Middle Ages houses other relics of this ancient past.

CAPDENAC-LE-HAUT

Pre-History and Gallo-Roman Era

Capdenac is an important archaeological site for researchers on the Middle Neolithic period. Excavations give evidence of the presence of three periods of pre-historic habitation dating back to the Chasséen (about 3500 BC) Neolithic period. Among the finds are well preserved ceramics and a singular statue representing female divinity.


Archeologist have also found evidence of a significant Gallo-Roman presence. Studies of the northern ramparts show the existence of a fortress. Two bronze fibulae, a bronze surgeon's lancet, two amphoras, fragments of tegulae, imbrices, and an italian amphora have been discovered. A fortified fountain, still accessible by a staircase of 130 steps, stands testimony to the presence of an advanced civilization. An important discovery of a cache of 3,000 Gaulic coins was made in the 19th Century. Most of the collection has since been lost with only 10 coins left preserved at France's National Library.