Monastery, Rocamadour, France

A photograph of the ancient medieval monastery grounds and the fortress of the French town of Rocamadour, the most popular and famous tourist destination in France. Also showing the beautiful old garden with medieval Catholic décor and symbols incorporated on the lawn. Rocamadour has attracted visitors for its dramatic and magnificent setting in a deep vertical gorge above a tributary of the beautiful River Dordogne, and especially for its historical monuments and its ancient sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has attracted pilgrims from every country, among them kings, bishops, and nobles. The town below the complex of monastic buildings and pilgrimage churches, traditionally dependent on the Roman Catholic pilgrimage site and now on the tourist trade, lies near the river on the lowest slopes; it gives its name to Rocamadour, a small goats milk cheese that was awarded AOC status in 1996.

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