Lanterne dès Morts

This small stone tower, found behind the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie in Sarlat-la-Canéda, dates back to the 12th century.

Lanternes des Morts, or Lanternes of the Dead, are mainly found in West and Central France, and are thought to indicate the position of a cemetery – although I’ve learned that their origins and use and up for discussion.

The origin of this particular lantern is linked to the Second Crusade, and specifically the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux (and is thought to have been built by the Knights Templar) after his visit to the city.

– Marla

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