This is a photo taken in , Lot, south-western France. It is designated as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (one of the prettiest towns in France). It is in the regional park Les Causses du Quercy. The stronghold of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie was the main seat of one of the four viscountcies that made up Quercy, divided among four feudal dynasties, the Lapopie, Gourdon, Cardaillac and Castelnau families. Its position, originally selected for defense, perched on a steep cliff 100 m above the river has helped make the town is one of the most popular tourist destinations Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the department, and the entire town is almost a museum. After it was "discovered" by the Post-Impressionist Henri Martin, it became popular with other artists and the home of the writer Andre Breton. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is situated along the French pilgrimage route, Way of St. James.
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is classified amongst "the most beautiful villages in France" ("Les Plus Beaux Villages de France"), a label attributed by a french association to villages presenting several interests and meeting certain criteria (rural size ie less than 2,000 inhabitants, at least 2 protected sites or monuments). Today, the association includes 154 villages spread over 21 regions and 69 départements. They aim to avoid certain pitfalls such as villages turning into soulless museums or, on the contrary, "theme parks". Their well-reasoned and passionate ambition is to reconcile villages with the future and to restore life around the fountain or in the square shaded by hundred-year-old lime and plane trees. Please also check at the official website www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/ or the unofficial onewww.villagesdefrance.free.fr/. You can also check my Flickr Set.