From the viewpoint at the Cirque de Vènes, you can imagine what the landscape looked like 20 million years ago, when the Causses were a vast, single plateau not yet carved into by the Lot River.

From St-Cirq-Lapopie towards Concots (D42 road): 44° 27’ 48” N 1° 40’ 51 E.

Free access to the public.


From the formation of the Cirque de Vènes…

It is hard to imagine today that, 20 million years ago, the Causses were a vast, flat surface where the Lot River meandered freely and where the present-day Lot Valley did not exist.

It was only over the course of the last million years that the Lot dug in, gradually forming the valley of the same name. At today’s Cirque de Vènes, small streams flow across the plateau, following the gradually deepening dip and accentuating the effects of erosion and the dissolution of limestone. The cliffside is gradually retreating, eventually resulting in the formation of the cirque.


… to its buttressing

The alternation between periods of frost and thaw during the last Ice Age caused rocks to shatter and fall into heaps. Locally referred to as castine, they piled up at the base of the walls of the cirque, stripping it of some of its majesty.

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