Souillac [ Sujak ] is a small town with 3808 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2011 ) in the southern French department of Lot in the Midi-Pyrénées region.
The name derives from Souillac to the French term souille ( German wallow, swamp ) or Old French souilh, occasionally reminiscent of the initial colonization of the former swamp area by monks who laid dry the marshy terrain.
Souillac lies at an altitude of about 100 meters above sea level. inst in the Dordogne valley, which limits to the old cultural landscape of the Quercy protected town in the south. The city is located about 63 km ( driving distance ) north of Cahors and 37 kilometers south of Brive- la -Gaillarde.
Around 1800, Souillac had about 1,500 inhabitants, but the mid-19th century there were well over 3,000. As a result of the phylloxera crisis in the wine and the mechanization of agriculture, the population went in the first half of the 20th century to around 2,500 in the 1920s back.
The area of Souillac has always been dominated by agriculture; the city itself acted as a craft, trade and service center for the region. About the Dordogne all kinds of goods were shipped to the Gironde estuary.
Allegedly, the origins of Souillac goes back to the time of the Merovingians - St. Eligius ( Saint- Eloi ), Minister King Dagobert I., is said to have founded a Benedictine monastery - is somehow still survived the ages - destroyed by the Saracens, rebuilt by Charlemagne and destroyed again in a Norman attack. Towards the end of his life handed Gerald of Aurillac, the monastery of monks of the Abbey of Aurillac. Because of its location on an important transport hub, the abbey and the town developed rapidly; However, both were on the other assaults during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) and during the Wars of Religion (1562-1598) exposed.
Abbey of Souillac
The Romanesque Abbey Church of Sainte -Marie is already recognized as a monument historique since 1840, the remaining monastic buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries followed in 1991.
- The Neolithic dolmen or tumulus Laval Laval is a collective grave with several chambers from the era of megalithic culture. He is recognized as a monument historique since 1984. It is about a kilometer out of town on a private property.
- Four Langhausjoche the Saint-Martin church date back to the 15th century, the aisles were later destroyed. The dominant and the building was intended as a fortified entrance tower tower ( belfry ) was built in the 16th century and shows clear influences from the castle building. But already in 1573 he was severely damaged by a blast of the Protestants; a small Romanesque tympanum of a previous building was preserved. Since 1829 the building housed the town hall; here today, the Office de Tourisme is housed. The tower is recognized as a monument historique since 1925.
- The market hall ( hall ) was built in the years 1832-1836, it had to be demolished four houses. The outer arches of about 10 × 20 meters measured structure consist of Haustein; it is spanned by a large cantilevered roof. The building is recognized as a monument historique since 1990.
- The 30 - bogige and about 570 meters long railway bridge ( Viaduc de la Borrèze ) was built in the years 1885 to 1881 of brick and covered with dressed stone. He is recognized as a monument historique since 1990.
- The Musee de l'Automate located in the former abbey buildings and is one of the world's largest collections of wind-up game and music dolls.