In a region full of precipitously perched towns, Rocamadour stands out--so far that you don't want to look down. The whole town doesn't have a flat spot big enough to set up a ping-pong table.
Rocamadour first made its mark in the medieval pilgrimage business--not as a way station on the Santiago circuit, like many of its neighbors, but as a destination in its own right. With a suite of uniquely configured churches carved into the cliff face, and a "Black Madonna" figurine that powered a couple of purported miracles in the 13th century, Rocamadour was quickly up and kneeling.
The rest was marketing. It wasn't long before 20,000+ pilgrims were making their way up and down Rocamadour's craggy pathways every day.
Even with tour buses and elevators, modern tourism can't match that pace. But we were up for the test--even those of us challenged by the nosebleed-inducing heights.