Wednesday, July 16, 2008

May 1st, 2008 - Cahors, the Wicked City

Cahors, along with Sodom, is vilified in Dantes Inferno as a wicked place. The Church had declared Cahors as a sinful place at the time of the religious wars, because bankers in the city were charging interest on loans - imagine that, a banker charging interest! In the Church's doctrine, all interest was usury and usury was a sin.
The Cahors area has been inhabited since Celtic times, when the easily defended udder shaped loop in the Lot river was first settled. Since its economic peak in the Middle Ages the city of 20,000 has slowly declined and today relies increasingly on tourism. Jacques Du├Ęze was born in Cahors in 1249 and he went on to become Pope John XXII, one of the Avignon Popes. The city has a mediaeval quarter and a fortified bridge, the latter claimed to be one of the most photographed sites in France.
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