Date and Time (Original) – 2023:08:01 13:01:41
This is the second beautiful village we visited that day. I believe it was about an hour away from Rocamadour. The local date was August 1st, and the weather was rainy from the morning. However, it gradually cleared up, and by the time we arrived in the village in the afternoon, the rain had stopped and we could even see some clear patches in the sky. At the same time, it also became humid.
Martel is a village I’m visiting for the first time. That’s because it was registered as one of the most beautiful villages in France after 2017. Yet again, another village in the Lot department has been registered as one of France’s most beautiful. I wonder how many beautiful villages there are in this area.
We found a parking lot a little away from the center of the village. After parking, we walked for about two minutes to reach the village’s central square. The village is surrounded by walls, and the central square has a Halle. Just like the other beautiful villages nearby, Martel is also a “bastide” style village. I’ve seen many bastide villages that have been selected as the most beautiful in France, but the central square of this village struck me as especially beautiful and left a deep impression. We arrived right at 1 pm, around lunchtime. Consequently, many families and tourists were enjoying lunch at the numerous eateries in the village square. We had had some snacks on our way here, so we didn’t dine in the village that day.
After that, we took a walk around the village and admired the village church, “St. Maurice Church”. Having seen that, our sightseeing in Martel came to an end. Since we still had plenty of time left that day, we continued our journey to the next beautiful village.
For a detailed description of the village, please refer to the information below.
Martel, often referred to as the “City of the Seven Towers” (La Ville aux Sept Tours), is a charming medieval town located in the Lot department of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. With its well-preserved architectural heritage and rich history, Martel attracts many tourists and history enthusiasts. Here are some key points about this captivating town:
- Historical Significance: Founded in the early Middle Ages, Martel boasts an extensive history, with traces of its past evident in its well-preserved medieval architecture and narrow streets.
- City of the Seven Towers: The town’s nickname derives from the numerous noble towers that were constructed during the 13th and 14th centuries. These towers, originally built by affluent families as a status symbol and for defense purposes, dominate the town’s skyline.
- Market Place: The heart of Martel is its large market square, surrounded by beautiful half-timbered houses and covered arcades. Historically, this has been the focal point for trade and community gatherings.
- St. Maurice Church: This 14th-century Gothic church is one of the town’s most prominent landmarks. Its impressive architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit spot for visitors.
- Truffadou Steam Train: A popular attraction near Martel is the historic Truffadou Steam Train. This tourist train offers picturesque rides along a former railway line, providing stunning views of the Dordogne Valley and a unique perspective on the region’s landscapes.
- Gastronomy: Like much of the Lot department and the broader Dordogne region, Martel is known for its culinary delights, especially truffles, foie gras, and other local specialties.
- Nearby Attractions: The surrounding areas offer additional attractions such as the Padirac Chasm, the Dordogne river, and numerous prehistoric caves and sites.
- Annual Events: Martel hosts several annual events, festivals, and markets, showcasing the region’s culture, gastronomy, and history.
- Department of Lot: The Lot department is recognized for its natural beauty, historical towns, and rich cultural heritage. Martel, with its distinctive medieval character, is one of the gems of this region, reflecting the Lot’s essence in many ways.
In summary, Martel is a blend of historical charm, architectural beauty, and cultural richness. It offers a genuine glimpse into the medieval history of France, making it an ideal destination for those keen on delving into the past while enjoying the serene landscapes and gastronomical offerings of the region.