An aerial view of Sarlat-la-Canéda
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 44°53′34″N 1°12′55″E|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean-Jacques de Peretti|
|47.13 km2 (18.20 sq mi)|
|• Density||200/km2 (520/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||102–319 m (335–1,047 ft) |
(avg. 189 m or 620 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
The town of Sarlat is in a region known in France as the Périgord Noir (the Black Périgord, as opposed to the Green Périgord, the White Périgord, and the Purple Périgord).
Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. It owes its current status on France's Tentative List for future nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage site to the enthusiasm of writer, resistance fighter and politician André Malraux, who, as Minister of Culture (1960–1969), restored the town and many other sites of historic significance throughout France. The centre of the old town consists of impeccably restored stone buildings and is largely car-free.
- Agriculture: Agriculture has long been of importance in the Dordogne area around Sarlat. Tobacco has been grown around Sarlat since 1857 and has historically been a major commodity for the area, although it is on the wane. Other agricultural commodities include corn, hay, walnuts, walnut oil, cheeses, wine, cèpes (a species of wild mushroom) and truffles.
- Tourism: Numerous visitors—especially from northern Europe (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, etc.)—come on holiday to Sarlat and the region surrounding it and some have settled there permanently. The months of July and August are traditionally the haute saison (high season) for visitors, as is true in much of France outside Paris.
- Foie gras: There are several large foie gras factories as well as a number of small producers of geese and ducks in the region that make foie gras and other products (confits, pâté, etc.) from these birds.
A film festival has been held there every November since 1991
Sarlat was the birthplace of:
- Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563), judge, writer, and philosopher, friend of Montaigne
- François Fournier-Sarlovèze (1773-1827), French general of the Napoleonic Wars
- Gauthier de Costes, seigneur de la Calprenède (c.1610-1663), novelist and dramatist
- Gabriel Tarde, judge and sociologist (1843–1904)
- André Malraux, a square and a gallery of paintings bear the name of the former Minister of Culture. This is explained by the fact that he is considered by many Sarladais as the savior of the historical district of the city. While visiting Sarlat, he realized that the city was in danger of ruins in certain neighborhoods and that some monuments were being destroyed. The Saved Areas Act was drafted to save the city.
- Jean-Jacques de Peretti, mayor of the city since 1989.
The town and region have featured in two major Hollywood films: Ridley Scott's The Duellists (1978) based on Joseph Conrad's Napoleonic tale; and more recently Timeline (2003) adapted from Michael Crichton's time-travel novel, set in 14th century France.
In the cemetery of Sarlat one can admire the pyramid or rests François Fournier-Sarlovèze
Other movies partly shot in Sarlat include:
- Ever After: a Cinderella Story (1998) by Andy Tennant
- The Musketeer (2001) by Peter Hyams
- Jacquou le Croquant (2007) by Laurent Boutonnat
- Jeanne d’Arc, by Luc Besson
The city also appears in the first instalments of French author Robert Merle's saga Fortune de France, which tells the story of a fictitious Huguenot, Pierre de Siorac, during the 16th and 17th century in France.
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