"Conques and Its Pilgrimage Church" Conques by hquittner
Conques Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 148 photos
Although we have never returned and our visit was almost 15 years ago, Conques stands out vividly inor memories and cries out for detailed pages. We learned of Conques from viewing Sir Kenneth Clark's "Civilization" television series (and book) and immediatley began planning to go there. When we retired we included a whole day for it as part of a 4 week adventure in the Southwest of France and adjacent Spain (to Barcelona). What we add here is its splendor, which has not been previously described in VT, even though it is a 3-star Michelin site!
Conques allowed us to see our first"stop" on the famous roads. You can judge what it was like from the unspoiled rough forested lands nearby and the old cobble stoned villages like the one the church is nestled in, located in the middle of nowhere. The church soars upwards Romanesque and strong. It was finished before 1100AD. It has a very tall narrow barrel-vaulted nave and ambulatory and very wide transepts to house the praying pilgrims who wanted to see the displayed reliquaries and relics. This church was noted to have many (today filling a museum built beyond a fragment of the cloister). Until the 19C the church had a monastery. After the disbandings there was no money to sustain the fabric, until Prosper Merimee found it in 1837 and made the government aware of this marvel of French heritage. Today it is a center for medieval studies and the Premonstrian Order taken up residence.
In addition to the marvelous church there is the miraculous reliquary of its dedicatee Ste.-Foy. It is a seated statue of the saint (a 12 yr old girl), created in 945, hollowed out to house her relics. It is carved of wood and covered in sheets of gold and gilded silver and is studded with a myriad of gem-stones both original and added later as donations. The relics (scientifically authenticated) inside were "obtained" from another monastery in 866 and of course have been performing miracles ever since. The statue was often carried by an army of monks and locals to all church enclaves where it exerted "church powers" as well. The statue sits in a air conditioned glass chamber at the end of a darkened room full of church treasures. We devoted an entire day to the many pre and medieval marvels, truly a 3* experience!
- Pros:Have Never Seen Anything Like This Elsewhere
- Cons:Where Did We Eat?
- In a nutshell:Never to Be Missed!
The little, very old town of Conques (pop. 400) sits in the northern tip of Aveyron barely in the Midi-Pyrenees, far... more travel advice
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Conques Travel Guide
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