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Cahors (käôrˈ) [key], town (1991 pop. 20,787), capital of Lot dept., S central France, in Quercy, on the Lot River. A commercial center, it has canneries, distilleries, and factories making a great variety of products. It was an important Roman town, an early episcopal see, and the capital of Quercy. It was ruled by its bishops until the 14th cent. and was one of the major banking centers of medieval Europe; the Cahorsin money lenders were among the most famous. The Univ. of Cahors, founded in 1322 by Pope John XXII (who was born there), was united in 1751 with that of Toulouse. The old part of Cahors is of great architectural interest. Part of the medieval fortifications, including a fortified bridge, still stand. The Cathedral of St. Étienne (12th–15th cent.), with Byzantine cupolas, and the palace of John XXII (begun 14th cent.; never completed) are among its many edifices.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Cahors from Infoplease:

  • Cahors - Cahors Usuriers de Cahors. In the thirteenth century there was a colony of Jewish money-lenders ...
  • Lot, department, France - Lot Lot , department (1990 pop. 156,100), S central France, in Quercy. Cahors is the capital.
  • Lot, river, France - Lot Lot, river, c.300 mi (483 km) long, rising in the Cévennes Mts., SE France, and flowing ...
  • lot: meaning and definitions - lot: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Quercy - Quercy Quercy , region and former county, SW France, now divided between Lot and Tarn-et-Garonne ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography

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