We started our exploration of Dordogne with one of the larger destinations in the area, Sarlat-la-Canéda, or simply Sarlat. Its charming medieval core is a maze of honey-colored buildings, narrow streets and passages, and hidden squares.
The most photogenic views, as is frequently the case, are found on the few wider spaces, such as Place de la Liberté.
From the steps of the cathedral on Place du Peyrou, the main architectural curiosity of Sarlat – coexistence of different styles – is on full display.
The building on the right is one of the visual symbols of Sarlat, Maison de la Boétie, a Renaissance stunner from the 16th century. One the left is a half-timbered belle, the legacy of Norman invasions of the 14th century. In the middle, a relatively unassuming and common to the area specimen of medieval masonry.
Here are a couple of closer looks.
Practically every building of note in the town center has a plaque or a stand in front of it with brief description of its history. You can give yourself a veritable guided tour of the town by focusing on those descriptions as you walk around.
Cathedral Saint-Sacerdos is relatively spartan in appearance, but not without a couple of standout features.
This sculpture in front of the eponymous gallery is called Le Badaud, “The looker-on” or “The rubberneck”. I felt immediate affinity – people-watching is among my favorite idle pursuits when on holidays.
Of course, in the place where foie gras is the staple, there has to be a sculpture of geese.
Here are a few other fragments of Sarlat.
A couple of different focal-length shots of the cluster of buildings at the southern end of Place de la Liberté. I like that perspective a lot.
We came back to Sarlat twice after the first visit, with dining in mind, but also to experience its beauty again.