Figeac, birthplace of J.-F. Champollion, an historical town open to the modern world
- Figeac is an appealing town anchored in a contemporary world. It features cutting edge businesses, has a youthful population and is culturally dynamic.
Since the first half of the 20th century, this little rural town has become an industrial centre thanks to the Ratier Aeronautical Company , along with the Figeac Aero Company since the beginning of 2000, both specialised in the conception and manufacture of aeroplane equipment. These companies, which count among the biggest in the Lot, are the primary drivers of the town’s vitality.
The outlying areas of Figeac are also home to prestigious firms in other domains: the food industry, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, computers etc.
This industrial activity has made Figeac the smallest town in France to host a University Institute of Technology.
In parallel, the implementation of an ambitious cultural policy, of which the Champollion – Worldwide Scriptures Museum is the best example, reinforces the image of a unique town, respectful of its past yet resolutely turned towards the future.
Figeac is an important waypoint on the Via Podiensis (GR65 – Long distance walking route) on the pilgrimmage route from Puy-en-Velay to Saint Jacques de Compostelle.
- Figeac, gateway town to Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park
The Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park
has 30 000 inhabitants, 97 communes, 185 500 hectares and a fabulous variety of landscapes to discover:
- Water etches out fertile strips at the bottom of the valleys, while on the limestone plateaus it disappears leaving a ground covered with downy oak trees and dry fields.
- “Les causses”, dry, mineral plateaus, are the emblematic landscape of the Park.
- The limestone base of the plateaus has been carved out by the green, majestic Lot and Dordogne valleys, by the wilder Célé and Vers valleys, and also by the impressive Ouysse and Alzou canyons, as well as numerous dry valleys.
- This limestone subsurface evolves into clay and chalky marl in the East with the Massif Central mountain range, which creates green woodlands, characteristic of Limargue.
- In the South-West, the more open and hilly Quercy Blanc terrain, alternates between fertile valleys with arid zones, called greenhouses, where limestone juts out.
The Regional Natural Park includes numerous villages which are perfect examples of the easily identifiable Quercynoise architecture. The most well known being Rocamadour et Saint Cirq Lapopie
The “Quercy black triangle”, situated in the heart of the Regional Natural Park, represents one of the clearest night skies in France. In order to preserve this exceptional nocturnal heritage, a number of communes in the Park are committed to switching off their public lights at a set time in the evening and/or installing low energy street lights. Others have also signed a charter for the protection of the environment and the night sky.
The area is also known for its agriculture and gastronomy. Here are some examples of produce that represent local farmers’ know-how:
- The Quercy black truffle
- Quercy safran
- Quercy farm lamb
- Duck or goose foie gras
- Quercy Melon
- Rocamadour goat’s cheese
- Pastis (delicious pastry tarts)
- Croustilot (sourdough bread made from an ancestral recipe)
- as well as cow’s and sheep’s cheeses, and charcuterie (cooked or cured meat products)