Tales and legends
Many legends and traditional stories have attempted to explain the origins of the historical and natural sites in Pays de Figeac, giving meaning to those unknown, mysterious places...
On the limestone plateaux "causses", the creation of watering holes in the Middle Ages made it possible to develop sheep farms. To underscore the importance of the sites that have been so essential to mankind’s survival, the traditional tales recount that, in the 8th century, an influential man in the Carolingian court, Saint Namphasius, had become a hermit in Quissac and is said to have dug all these little ponds. The valiant hermit is known in the Quercy region as the patron saint of shepherds and their flocks.
Figeac owes its creation to Pepin of Aquitaine and to a settlement of Benedictine monks from Conques in the 9th century. During the 11th century, the Figeac monks wanted to shake off the oversight of their mother abbey to ensure their economic development and reassert their prestige. To do this, they attempted to prove that their monastery was in fact older than that of Conques. According to some popular tales, it was not Pepin I of Aquitaine who founded Figeac, but rather the famous Pepin the Short, after a divine revelation received by one of his knights.
and the unholy monastery
In the town of Saint-Jean-de-Laur, close to the Gaïfié rocky spur and in the narrow Oule Valley, lies a remarkable natural and historical site: Lantouy. The ruins of an old 11th century Benedictine nunnery overhang a re-emergence of turquoise water called Lantouy Chasm. Legend has it that the nunnery’s destruction was brought about by the wrath of God against the nuns who had become cannibalistic...
There are many other legends and traditional stories surrounding the picturesque sites in Pays de Figeac: the legend of Saint Martin’s Stone in Livernon, the Bell Chasm in Sabadel-Latronquière, and the list goes on...