Saujac - Saut de la Mounine - Lot Valley
Saujac village in the Lot
The wall of the village's dilapidated and long-closed Epicerie Buvette still bears a faded mural representing a monkey and monk.
These were the principal characters of a sad legend that goes back to the 15th century.
Le Saut de la Mounine in Saujac
Once upon a time, a monk named Cidoine set off on pilgrimage from Conques with his pet monkey (mounine in local patois) and a goat.
As he walked along the edge of the cliff (just above where the village today is), he tripped and fell over the edge.
Fortunately, his belt caught on a tree, saving him and his monkey.
However, as he hung there, he spotted a cave and decided that this was a sign that they should stay right here...
So they did.
Locals took the habit of visiting Cidoine to seek his advice and paid him back with food.
Ghislaine, the 16-year old daughter of Ogier, Lord of Montbrun, regularly came to visit the hermit; so did Renaud, the son of Ogier's fierce rival.
You can guess what happened...Ghislaine and Renaud fell in love!
When Lord Ogier found out, he screamed a curse:
"I swear by the devil, I'd rather you jumped off that monk's rock than marry the son of my rival!"
The distraught Ghislaine went to Cidoine to seek his advice.
The hermit told her to wait for her father to go hunting, then to come to his cave dressed with her best clothes.
When Ghislaine arrived, he dressed his old, blind monkey with her red dress and flung him off the cliff.
Lord Ogier of course believed that he saw his daughter jump to her death!
Full of remorse, he recanted his oath and went to see Cidoine, who then revealed the deception.
Ghislaine and Renaud were married in the Montbrun castle, their fathers reconciled, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Except the monkey who was unavailable for comment...
The site, nestled in the cliff overlooking a meander, has since been known as Le Saut de la Mounine.
It boasts prime views of the Château de Montbrun and the villages nestled on the green banks of the river Lot.
Department of Lot
Coordinates Saujac Saut de la Mounine: Lat 44.485108 - Long 1.912525