City of southwest France, on the River Lot, a tributary of the Garonne, and north of Toulouse. It was the capital of QUERCY (both city and province are called after the Cadurci, a Gaulish tribe) and the seat of a Bishop, who in the Merovingian era acted as the Count for Quercy.
From the 9th century Quercy was held by the Counts of Toulouse or by a branch of that family. In 1088 the Count of Toulouse ceded his rights in Cahors and the immediate neighbourhood to the Bishop, except that he kept control of the towers of the city.
The Bishop was thereby made more territorially powerful than most French Bishops. His power was reaffirmed by Simon de Montfort, the leader of the Albigensian Crusade in the early 13th century – Cahors has always been stoutly Catholic. After the French King took control of the County of Toulouse in 1271, the power of the Bishop steadily diminished.