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Rocamaxour

Old Jan 29th, 2015, 06:43 PM
  #1  
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Rocamaxour

we may visit Rocamadour on our way from Sarlat to Provence. I read that
evening may be the best time to visit. what are you thoughts on this? what would be an average time to visit ( I know that varies with different interest etc,) so just an approximate time . Thank you
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:36 PM
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Hi tidy

We were there last August and arrived early afternoon. It is a truly spectacular setting! We had time to go down in the two elevators and take quite some time looking at the church and town buildings.

We stayed in a logis hotel at the top of the hillside, with lovely views over the valley and town clinging to the hillside. Our hotel had parking available; be wary of booking to stay down in the township - I'm not sure that there's much parking available there.

At night the town is beautifully lit, so we just loved our view both from the restaurant and our room. You can also take a small train ride down into the town at night.

We left after breakfast the next day, well content with the amount of time we had spent there.
Di
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:39 PM
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It depends what time of year you go. The central street of Rocamadour can look like the central street of Mont Saint Michel in terms of crowds in the middle of summer.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 01:16 AM
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It also depends on your attitude toward religion.

Rocamadour has an interesting historical and cultural side, but its reason for being is religious.

I am a practicing Episcopalian and it was all fine with me.

Our traveling companions were lapsed Roman Catholics. They hated, hated, hated it and wouldn't even stay for lunch.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 04:55 AM
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Thanks for this info. If we go it will be early June so crowds should not be too bad.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 05:35 AM
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I'm confused, Ackislander. Why would Catholics hate Rocamadour? I did some Googling on the town, and other than the fact that it contains some ancient churches, shrines, places that pilgrims gathered, etc., it seems like a whole bunch of French towns that have religious origins.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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If planning on a two day trip to the Provence, staying in Rocamadour will lengthen considerably the next day's drive. I do not consider the town that special to deserve an overnight stay just to see it at sunset, which is the wrong time of day in my opinion. The town faces an easterly direction and would look best from a distance in the early morning. But if limited in time, I would visit it while going on to an overnight stay closer to the Provence.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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Nukesafe, I think that Akislander was trying to imply that "lapsed" Catholics have complete disdain for fervent believers. I disagree. I am a non believer and it has never bothered me to visit the various religious sites of the world, no matter what the religion. Anyone who would be upset in such a place is simply not very stable in their own beliefs.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 10:37 AM
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Anyone who would be upset in such a place is simply not very stable in their own beliefs.

A facile comment on the visceral reaction of individuals for a variety of reasons.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 10:47 AM
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Well yes, in certain cases, the person who hates certain groups might have been attacked by a devout Catholic ax murderer at some time in the past, or raped by a priest, but I would give that a very low percentile rating.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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Ax murderers have nothing to do with it.

Any descendants of Iberian Jews might qualify, or descendants of those who suffered through the pogroms. Or as a friend born and bred in the Dordogne put it: we were oppressed for hundreds of years by nobility supported by the church. He does not visit castles or churches, and let the local priest, his neighbor, know that he was not about to have a religious funeral service for his wife. I'm sure he is not alone.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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Oh I think it is wonderful to hold a grudge for hundreds of years. There don't seem to be enough countries where people are still slaughtering each other over things that happened long long ago. Maybe you can help to start the religious wars in France and Spain again with that attitude.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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Wonderful or not it exists. Some have little sense of history, and others perhaps too much.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 11:58 AM
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I guess I still do not get it. If, as Kerouac says, the lapsed Catholics could not stand to eat lunch in a restaurant located in a town that has a church, they are going to be very hungry by the time they leave France. I wonder if they avoid towns in the States that have similar dens of iniquity and wrong thinking?

As a non believer myself, I find it hard to understand not being able to admire the beauty in the artifacts left behind by those who created those things. A cathedral, a painting, a Buddha, or the delicate designs on a prayer rug or Torah can be lovely and inspiring, even if the makers were not as enlightened as me.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 12:04 PM
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, the lapsed Catholics could not stand to eat lunch in a restaurant located in a town that has a church, they are going to be very hungry by the time they leave France.

That's pushing the point to absurdity. There is a difference between stopping in any town that has a church and visiting on purpose a town whose main function is as a religious pilgrimage site.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 01:24 PM
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No, not stopping in a town solely because its main function was/is a site for religious pilgrimages borders on the absurd. Not visit Mecca, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Lourdes, the Ganges because someone ELSE considers them holy? That's self righteous stupidity.

Now, because of my lack of belief, me visiting those places FOR a pilgrimage would be stupid fakery. To visit them to wonder at the beauty produced by the delusions of others in the past; that's tourism.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 02:06 PM
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"self-righteous" implies a combative position. Most people I know who are not interested in religion would simply not put such locations on their itinerary; non-Muslims can't anyway when it comes to Mecca.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 06:05 PM
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Well, count me in as a lapsed Catholic tourist who is staying 2 nights for the history and sheer beauty of the place. Do we believe in St. Amadour and will we ascend the 216 Escalier des Pelerins on our knees? Not a chance. But we hold no disdain for the fervent or quasi believers who do. Somehow I think that people like us became the 'main function' in Rocamadour a long time ago. Tidy, I hope you enjoy your visit.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 02:29 AM
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Sorry, friends.

I was not clear.

What I meant to suggest is that Rocamadour is not an ordinary tourist site, a must-see if you are in the neighborhood or passing through. No one need feel bad about giving it a miss.

It is a place of religious pilgrimage which evokes strong feelings, after all, the composer Francois Poulenc experienced a conversion there that changed his music for the rest of his life.

Non believers may be able, like alicd, to enjoy Rocamadour anthropologically, appreciating the faith of believers if not sharing it. It is a little harder to enjoy its beautiful setting or artistic treasures since they are overlaid with a thick sludge of tasteless souvenirs and tourist shops, the Gatlinburg or Brighton of the Dordogne.

For some it may serve more seriously as a "trigger", reminding them of all that was authoritarian, repressive, unctuous and hypocritical in the Roman Catholic Church of their youth, the pre-Vatican II church of Pius XII.

If you drifted away from religion, you may be fine. If you had to wrench yourself away, the effect of Rocamadour or Medugorje or Fatima or Lourdes might be very different.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:05 AM
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It is a little harder to enjoy its beautiful setting or artistic treasures since they are overlaid with a thick sludge of tasteless souvenirs and tourist shops, the Gatlinburg or Brighton of the Dordogne.


We went last year to see how it had changed since 1972. Friends in our village said that it was still a pilgrimage place...predominantly for tourists.
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