live le lot

Saint-Cirq Lapopie was built by three competing feudal dynasties in the Middle Ages (Lapopies, Gourdons and the Cardaillacs). The architecture of the village reflects this competing with a series of castles and fortified homes built ever larger rising up to the cliff's summit. Thirteen houses are classified as official French historical monuments.

Medieval homes with stone and wood facades topped by tile roofs compete for space atop the cliff. Open arcades of shops line the narrow streets with skins, copper and wood roubinetaïres. These artisan crafts are also taught with pottery, coppersmithing, and wood turner workshops. A Sunday market offers the region's freshest produce.

At the base of the cliff, an intricate system of mills, barrages, locks and a towpath stand testament to the village's role in past river commerce. 

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is also known as a sanctuary for artists and poets. The village offers a number of residencies throughout the year for established and aspiring painters. A number of museums and studios hold high reputations within the French Art scene.

Art and Poetry

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is renown in France as an artist and writer sanctuary. Surrealist painter André Breton called the village home in the summer from the 1950s until his death in 1966, declaring that "above any other place in the world, in America or Europe, Saint-Cirq is my one place of enchantment: the one fixed forever. I stopped wanting to be elsewhere. I think the secret of its poetry resembles that of some of Rimbaud's Illuminations, it is the product of the rarest in perfect balance."  

The village continues to inspire. Artists can be found painting throughout Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, their work displayed in the numerous studios and galleries around town.  Saint-Cirq-Lapopie's tourism office provides a "Itinéraire des Artistes" to introduce visitors to artists residing in the village. Red banners above doorways also signal artist homes and studios. Exhibition spaces include the Rignault Museum, Maisons Daura, the Château de Saint-Cirq, and the Maison de Fourdonne.


Those seeking a reprieve from the summer heat can also avail themselves of numerous bathing spot along the Célé and Lot rivers. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie converted a bend below the cliff into a River Beach with safety monitoring in the summer months. Look for signs indicating "le bief sur le Lot". Several shops also rent canoes and pedal boats by the day and by the hour. Small access road along the Célé surrounding Bouziès also offer a more secluded and calm environment for picnics and bathing. 

Water Excursions

Bouziès, a nearby village along the Célé river, offers multiple options for boat rentals. Boating enthusiasts can choose among five options: La Croisière de Saint Cirq (a historical tour of St. Cirq's artists, the river and the lock), la Croisière Degustation  (an gastronomic introduction to local specialities), la Croisière du Chemin de Halage (a boat ride followed by a walk back along the towpath) or la Croisière Pirate (designed for children 3-12 years old) or self hire (one hour or day long rentals with no license required.

Saint-Cirq Lapopie

The medieval town of Saint-Cirq Lapopie is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France.  Perched 300 meters atop a cliff overlooking the Lot River, narrow streets wind their way through perfectly preserved Medieval houses tinged in red. The perch atop the cliff preserved the village during medieval time, shielding Saint-Cirq Lapopie from attempted invasions by legends like Richard the Lionheart in 1199. Fine craftsman offer their wares in creaking shops along the main thoroughfare. Arrive early: the village continues to attract approximately 400,000 visitors a year since being named as France's most beautiful village in a television poll in 2012.