The littleVersailles

With its numerous châteaux, a dozen in all, it was nicknamed “Little Versailles”. All these châteaux were secondary residences for the nobles and lords of Saint-Céré, ten kilometers away. Above the village, another film set: a castle built into the cliff takes us back to the 100 Years’ War, when mercenaries plundered the region for the benefit of the English crown.

Classified as ” Most Beautiful Villages in France “With its steep, dark-tiled roofs, half-timbered or corbelled facades, turrets and dovecotes, manor houses, châteaux and manor houses, Autoire is a village of remarkable architectural character.

In the heart of the village, the houses form a circular rampart around the Romanesque church. Nearby, the castle of the local lords who controlled the village from the 11th to 17th centuries, now houses the town hall.

The original medieval castrum was a holiday resort for the notables of Saint-Céré, and in the 17th and 18th centuries was enriched by the addition of sumptuous manor houses.

The change of scenery wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the English fortress, incredibly close to the cirque’s cliffs. This castle was used by English companies during the Hundred Years’ War and by local brigands. Since then, serenity has returned to the cirque, where only the tumult of the waters breaks the surrounding calm.

Autoire’s charm also lies in its exceptional setting: a cirque of limestone cliffs from which the Toire stream rises in an impressive 30-meter waterfall, the highest in the département. Beautiful and impressive, this majestic waterfall is protected as a listed site.

The walk along the GR is very popular: the ridge path offers exceptional views.