Conques - Idyllic village in Aveyron with celebrated Abbaye de Sainte-Foy
on one of the pilgrimage roads to Saint-Jacques de Compostella
Near Rodez, Aurillac, and Figeac, and the River Lo
The Typanum at Abbaye de Ste Foy at Conques
After taking the pretty D901, through the village of Marcillac-Vallon, famous for its lovely fruity red wines, one comes to one of the most beautiful villages of France - Conques. A village to visit at any time of the year, from the cold of winter to the heady heat of Summer.
It is here that one comes across a village that has kept its medieval houses, and its streets of bygone years, under the eyes of the beautiful Abbey church of Sainte-Foy. The warm clustering of Abbey and cloisters, of chapel, and neighbouring houses, as well as a Medieval art center that holds concerts throughout the year - is welcoming and well worth a day or two of your time. Stay at the warm and accommodating Auberge Saint Jacques - with excellent dining at its restaurant on the first floor, and pleasant warm bedrooms in the centre of the village of Conques.
One of the prime attractions is the 12th century Typanum frieze that is over the subdued entrance to the Abbey. It depicts the kingdoms of heaven and hell, showing all things beautiful and bad that can happen in the after life. Here above are shown Heaven to the left and to the right a snatch of the hellish life of hell! You must visit Conques to see the whole story!
The interior of the Abbey Church at Conques. Is as it should be, A marriage of contemplation, simplicity, and emblems of faith. Modern sculptures have been placed in the smaller chapels, as well as more traditional altars. It is quiet, solid, with awe inspiring play of columns and shafts of light.
The cloisters have lost a lot of their original splendor, but nature provides a good background. The balance of nature and man. By way of the cloisters you can visit the Tresor - a treasury of gold and gems and other fine metals, artfully sculpted, and adorned on wonderful religious artefacts including the relics of Sainte Foy, beautiful crucifixes, altars, that make the visit worth while both visually and spiritually.
The Cloister, with entrance to the "Tresor" at Conques
Take a walk around the village, and see the old chateau,
the small chapel, as well as the old hospice, and the numerous fountains.
Go to the top
of the village and visit the European
Medieval Cultural Center (Centre
Européen d'Art et de Civilisation Médiévale) - and
see interesting exhibitions by artist, go to the music festivals, literary
other cultural happenings. If you are looking for a night away, from
your holiday rental, or to take an over night on your tour of France
- Conques can surprise and raise your spirits in ways that might astound
One of the many side streets of Conques that exude with textures, water, walls, and lovely views
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