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Reading the landscape at St-Cirq-Lapopie

Take advantage of your visit to the village of St-Cirq-Lapopie to discover “geology in the scenery” and the reasons why humankind was able to settle on this remarkable site.

At the base of Bancourel Dovecote above the village (D8 road):

44° 27’ 57” N 1° 39’ 55 E.

Free access to the public


Traces of a very ancient sea…

During the Cretaceous period (100 to 70 million years ago), a sea covered the whole southern part of the Massif Central. And yet, the rocks from that era are virtually non-existent in the Causses, having been eroded by time.

The limestone of the Upper Cretaceous contains much more sand than the older limestone of the Jurassic. As it gradually eroded, the limestone was dissolved, and its residual sand, trapped in pockets, was slowly cemented by water.

Over the last million years, the Lot River dug in, gradually forming its valley. By clearing the rocky peak of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, it also exposed a pocket of cemented sand from the Cretaceous period, coming up under the village of the same name.


“Perched” water in the village

The pocket of sand allowed a “perched” water table to develop there. In the past, this meant that each house in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie could have its own well. That easy access to water resources certainly facilitated the settling of the village.


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