It is always worth wondering around the side streets of any town in the Perigord Noir however, the Medieval Quarter in Sarlat stands out as one of the best, where you can find hidden treasures literally just around every corner. This happened to Paul a few weeks ago when he was passing the time waiting for me while I was at our hairdressers.
If you walk up the main shopping street in Sarlat, pass the chocolatiers, Burton’s Store and the store that sells knifes and guns! You will come to a small cobbled lane on the left that doubles back and rises up to take you around the bend. There, hidden around the bend on the Rue J.J. Rousseau you will find the 17th Century Chapel des Pénitents Blancs with its magnificent portico.
Chapel of the White Penitents XVIIth century
The beautiful baroque door is the only ornament of the Chapel of the Récollets (a reformed branch of the Franciscan order) of the White Penitents.
In 1944 the chapel was classified as an historical monument and since 1970, it has housed a museum of sacred art.
In the old quarter take the lane which is found on the left of the Cathedral and runs past the Lantern of the Dead.
Take the first left at the antique shop and you will find a twisty, narrow lane which in turn leads you into the myriad of Medieval properties which we had never seen before.
A beautiful balustrade with artisan jewellery shops on the first level of the property.
Meandering through the narrow cobbled lanes of artisans and art galleries you will come to Rue Fénelon, turn left where you will find cafes, a Thai Restaurant (which we must check out) and antique shops.
On the right, tucked in between the shops you will see another interesting 14th C property.
Further along the same lane towards Rue de la Liberté you will find on the right, ‘Aux Bonheurs De Sophe’. A Millinery shop where I could spend hours browsing and buying almost everything. It sells beautiful materials, cottons, wools and accessories, in fact everything that you need, including silk embroidery threads which I needed for my new hobby.
Past the milliners you will see the Truffle Market on the right and the magnificent Place de la Liberté with its Wednesday and Saturday markets.