Dating from the thirteenth century and built in Romanesque
Gothic style, the Church Saint-Maur possesses the tallest of the
seven towers which dominate the town's skyline. The fort-eight
metre high bell tower was of strategic importance to the town's
defences, and doubled as a watchtower.
The Cordeliers Tower
During the thirteenth century Martel was the site of a
Franciscan monastery. The impressive Cordeliers Tower, built in
1230, is all that remains of this historic building.
This distinctive building located in the southeast corner of
Martel's Place des Consuls - the central square - was where the
eldest son of England's King Henry II, also called Henry, died
prematurely having become severely ill following the ransacking of
many churches and monasteries in the Lot region for their
Historically, Martel is situated in a region prized for its rare
black truffles and these were transported by rail on the
Bordeaux-Aurillac line built in the early nineteenth century. The
line became disused in 1980 but was restored by steam rail
enthusiasts and reopened in 1997. Today visitors can travel by
steam train the thirteen kilometres between Martel and the
neighbouring town of Saint Denis Lès Martel, a journey which
provides stunning views of the Dordogne Valley.