Open main menu

SARLAT, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Dordogne, 44 m. E. by N. of Bergerac on the railway to Aurillac. Pop. (1906) town 4018, commune 6195. The town grew up round a monastery founded in the 8th century and early in the 14th century became the seat of a bishopric which was suppressed in 1790. The former cathedral and abbey-church preserves interesting architecture of the Romanesque and later periods and remarkable wood-carving of the 15th century. There is also a curious pyramidical structure of the 12th century, which was probably used as a burial-place. The house where Étienne de la Boétie (d. 1563), the moralist, was born, and other houses in the Gothic and Renaissance styles are to be seen. La Boétie has a statue in the town. There is a large trade in cattle. Distilling, the manufacture of tin-boxes, and the preparation of truffles, pâtés de foie gras and other delicacies and of nut-oil are carried on; there are coal and iron mines and stone-quarries in the vicinity.