Tulip-time in Quercy: some things grow well in these limey soils.
An uneventful walk through stunted oak forest ended on flatter and richer country at the enormous convent of Vaylats.
The convent, which requires a small detour from the GR65, is equipped to accommodate and feed many pilgrims. It’s got a retro look up top, but it’s only a couple of hundred years old. Judging from the size of the village church, the school that the convent housed must have had a fair population of boarders. That’s just a guess, because very small villages in France can have enormous churches for no obvious reason.
Like the convent, the fine church with its Romanesque echos is a relatively modern construction, though on old foundations.
It’s a lot for a tiny village where the convent no longer functions as anything but housing for very old nuns and passing pilgrims. (Fortunately, a vigorous hospitalier and pilgrim, Michel, was very much in charge during my stay).
Vaylats is in an agricultural area which was ravaged in the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, and probably copped its share of revolution and Germans.
What’s most intriguing is that it is just possibly the site of Uxellodunum, the last bastion of Gallic resistance to Julius Caesar! (Most likely it’s a different Gallic site, but every post needs a headline, don’t you think?)