The bridges of Clairac

Clairac and the Lot, the Lot and Clairac... an inseparable couple. During the conference “Clairac and its abbey” in May 2016, Alain Beschi (service de l'Inventaire de Nouvelle Aquitaine) made a presentation on the topography of Clairac, in which he showed how the village had been built with the river and the bend it forms in this end of the valley. But if the Lot allowed the village to exist, it separated the abbey and market town, perched on the right bank, and the village of the boatmen on the left bank; crossing it was always an important subject: the nearest bridge was at Villeneuve-sur-Lot, 25 km away! For a long time, a simple stretched cable made it possible to pass with a raft. In other words, Pierre Balguerie's decision to build a bridge in the 1830s was a real revolution. For a century, it was part of the local landscape and made life easier for the people of Clairac; until the authorities decided in 1935 to replace it with a bridge at the forefront of reinforced concrete technology.

It is this story that we propose to tell you here, with ancient photographs, a study published in “La Mémoire du fleuve”, a film shot on the eve of the Second World War, old photos and postcards.