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Topographic Views of Rocamadour: Distant view of cliff and sanctuaries from the plain of the river below
Rocamadour was a dependency of the abbey of Tulle. The buildings of Rocamadour (from ròca, cliff, and Sant Amador) rise in stages up the side of a cliff on the right bank of the Alzou river, which here runs between rocky walls 400 ft. in height. Flights of steps ascend from the lower town to the churches, a group of massive buildings halfway up the cliff. The chief of them is the pilgrimage church of Notre Dame. On the summit of the cliff stands the château built in the Middle Ages to defend the sanctuaries. The town below the complex of monastic buildings and pilgrimage churches, traditionally dependent on the pilgrimage site and now on the tourist trade, lies near the river on the lowest slopes.