A general view of Carennac
|Intercommunality||Pays du Haut-Quercy Dordogne|
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Jeanine Dumas|
|Area1||19.00 km2 (7.34 sq mi)|
|• Density||20/km2 (51/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||46058 / 46110|
|Elevation||110–340 m (360–1,120 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Carennac belongs to the historical region of Quercy.
A village lies in the fertile valley of the Dordogne River, nestled under the barren, parched plateau locally named 'le Causse'. Its most remarkable landmarks are a medieval priory, combining an 11th-century church and cloister, and a 16th-century castle, in which famous author of The Adventures of Telemachus, François Fénelon, lived from 1681 to 1685. The church features a remarkable tympanum, and the cloister a 15th-century "mise au tombeau".
Carennac is one of the most beautiful villages of France (along with 148 others, including neighbouring Loubressac, Autoire, Curemonte and Turenne). The summer months are notably warm and dry, temperatures averaging 30°.
Surroundings and access
A few kilometres from the village lie the famous Gouffre de Padirac (caves) and Rocamadour (pilgrimage) sites. Other notable landmarks are the Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux, the Castle of Montal and the prehistoric caves of Lacave and Presque. Further on, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Cahors and Aurillac are regional hubs. The A20 motorway (linking Paris to Toulouse and Spain) lies 30 km (19 mi) away from Carennac. The closest railway station is 4 km (2.5 mi) away, in Bétaille.
- In writing: At Home in France by Ann Barry.
- On film: French TV drama La Rivière Espérance (1997), shot in Carennac and depicting the changes brought about by the introduction of railroad in the 19th century.
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