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The chateau in Lacave
The chateau in Lacave
Coat of arms of the lordship of Quercy
Map of the old province of Quercy, France, showing the communes according to the current administrative division.
Map of the old province of Quercy, France, showing the communes according to the current administrative division.
Coordinates: 44°16′00″N 1°38′00″E / 44.2667°N 1.63333°E / 44.2667; 1.63333Coordinates: 44°16′00″N 1°38′00″E / 44.2667°N 1.63333°E / 44.2667; 1.63333

Quercy (French: [kɛʁsi] (listen); Occitan: Carcin [kaɾˈsi], locally [kɔɾˈʃi]) is a former province of France located in the country's southwest, bounded on the north by Limousin, on the west by Périgord and Agenais, on the south by Gascony and Languedoc, and on the east by Rouergue and Auvergne.


Quercy comprised the present-day department of Lot, the northern half of the department of Tarn-et-Garonne, and a few communities in the departments of Dordogne, Corrèze, and Aveyron. The traditional capital of Quercy is Cahors, now prefecture (capital) of Lot. The largest town of Quercy is Montauban, prefecture of Tarn-et-Garonne. However, Montauban lies at the traditional border between Quercy and Languedoc, in an area very different from the rest of Quercy, and it is closer historically and culturally to Toulouse and the rest of Languedoc, therefore it should be considered a special case, not totally part of Quercy. Also distinct from the rest of the region is the Quercy Blanc lying between Cahors and the southern boundary of Lot, characterised by its white limestone buildings.

Close to Périgord and the Dordogne valley, Rocamadour is at the heart of the Parc naturel régional des Causses du Quercy [de; fr] regional nature park.

Quercy has a land area of 6,987 km2 (2,698 sq. miles). At the 1999 census there were 275,984 inhabitants on the territory of the former province of Quercy, which means a density of 40 inh. per km2 (102 inh. per sq. mile). However, if Montauban is not included inside Quercy, then the total population of Quercy in 1999 was 224,129 inhabitants, and the density was only 33 inh. per km2 (85 inh. per sq. mile). The largest urban areas in Quercy are Montauban, with 51,855 inhabitants in 1999, Cahors, with 23,128 inhabitants in 1999, Moissac, with 12,321 inhabitants in 1999, and Figeac, with 9,991 inhabitants in 1999.


Under the Romans Quercy was part of Aquitania prima, and Christianity was introduced during the 4th century. Early in the 6th century it fell under the authority of the Franks, and in the 7th century became part of the autonomous Duchy of Aquitaine. At the end of the 10th century its rulers were the powerful counts of Toulouse. During the wars between England and France in the reign of Henry II, the English placed garrisons in the county, and by the 1259 Treaty of Paris lower Quercy was ceded to England. The monarchs of both England and France confirmed and added to the privileges of the towns and the district, each thus hoping to attach the inhabitants to his own interest. In 1360, by the Treaty of Brétigny, the whole county passed to England, but in 1440 the English were finally expelled. In the 16th century Quercy was a stronghold of the Protestants, and the scene of a savage religious warfare. The civil wars of the reign of Louis XIII largely took place around Montauban.[1]

Notable associations[edit]

Like Périgord, the area is noted for its cuisine, more particularly the duck dishes, confit de canard and magret de canard and the dark red wines of Cahors and, further south, Coteaux de Quercy.

The province gave its name to cadurcum, a variety of light linen.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Quercy". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 742.
  2. ^ Jules Verne (2015). Arthur B. Evans (ed.). Five Weeks in a Balloon: A Journey of Discovery by Three Englishmen in Africa. Wesleyan University Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-0819575487. Retrieved June 21, 2016 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ A. DE GUBEEÎ^ATIS (1891). DICTIONNAIRE INTERNATIONAL DES ÉCRlVAmS DU JOUR [International Dictionary of the Writers of Today] (in French). Florence: LOUIS NICCOLAI. p. 1432. Retrieved June 21, 2016 – via archive.org.

External links[edit]