Local Information for Figeac
We want you to have a great time and to help you make the most of your stay in Figeac, below is a short guide plius a link to the local tourist office.
Figeac lies on the River Célé, 71km east of Cahors and some 8km north of the Lot. It's a beautiful town with an unspoilt medieval centre, not too encumbered by tourism.
It owes its beginnings to the foundation of an abbey in the early days of Christianity in France, one which quickly became wealthy because of its position on the pilgrim routes to both Rocamadour and Compostela.
In the Middle Ages it became a centre of tanning, which accounts for the many houses whose top floors have solelhos, or open-sided wooden galleries. Again, as so often, it was the Wars of Religion that pushed it into eclipse, for Figeac threw in its Lot with the nearby Protestant stronghold of Montauban and suffered reprisals by the victorious royalists in 1662.
Roads and train line both funnel you automatically into the town centre, where the Hôtel de la Monnaie surveys place Vival. It's a splendid building whose origins go back to the thirteenth century, when the city's mint was located in this district. The building now houses the tourist office (www.tourism-figeac.com) where you can find details of the summer Arts and Theatre Festival, mountain biking, horse riding, canoeing, rock climbing, walking and many other activities.
In the streets radiating off to the north of the square Caviale, République, Gambetta and their cross-streets there's a delightful range of houses of the medieval and classical periods, both stone and half-timbered with brick noggings, adorned with carvings and colonnettes, ogees, and interesting bits of ironwork.
At the end of these streets are the two small squares of place Carnot and place Champollion, both of great charm. The former is the site of the old halles, under whose awning cafés now spreads their tables.
Jean-François Champollion, who cracked Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the triple text of the Rosetta Stone, was born in a house off the square, and the building now houses a very interesting museum dedicated to his life and work. At the end of this alley, a larger-than-life reproduction of the Rosetta Stone forms the floor of the tiny Place des Écritures.
Places to visit near Figeac and approximate distances
Aurillac Avergne town at 57 km
Autoire Most beautiful village at 37 km
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne Riverside village at 47 km
Belcastel Most beautiful village at 40 km
Bruniquel Most beautiful village at 73 km
Cahors medieval bridge town at 68 km
Carennac Most beautiful village at 49 km
Chateau de Montfort Chateau at 56 km
Collonges-la-Rouge Most beautiful village at 66 km
Conques Most beautiful village at 39 km
Cordes-sur-Ciel Bastide town at 60 km
Curemonte Most beautiful village at 54 km
Gramat Town near Rocamadour at 40 km
Loubressac Most beautiful village at 40 km
Najac Most beautiful village at 42 km
Rocamadour Pilgrimage village at 51 km
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie Most beautiful village at 43 km
Salers Most beautiful village at 78 km
Sauveterre-de-Rouergue Market town at 52 km
Souillac Abbey town at 70 km
Turenne Most beautiful village at 71 km
Villefranche-de-Rouergue Bastide at 27 km