Rocamadour, France: Quaint Charm and Medieval Miracles

For eight centuries, devout pilgrims have crawled up the Grand Stairway of Rocamadour on their knees, doing penance. I didn’t climb the 200-plus steep, worn stairs on my knees, but I was mightily impressed by them. They carry the weight of history. This medieval town in southwestern France is carved right into the rock of a cliff, high above the Alzou River in the Dordogne/Lot region. The Grand ... Read Full Article

Mystery of the Black Madonna

The Black Madonna has been a figure of mystery for centuries. Some say she’s simply a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from black wood, or perhaps has soot on her skin from the smoke of thousands of candles.  But speculation goes much deeper than that. Throughout Europe, especially in France, about 500 Black Madonnas, painted or carved in wood or stone, stand in Catholic churches, with a few in ... Read Full Article

Bon Routes in Aquitaine, France

Travelers will find many delights in the Aquitaine area of  Southwest France; from vineyards to prehistoric sites, and medieval castles to well preserved bastides (ancient, fortified towns), all set amid breathtaking natural beauty. The following driving tours will give you a small taste of this glorious region. Prehistory in Southwest France Depart from Perigueux after taking in its beautiful ... Read Full Article