France - This is the visit of the Romanesque abbey of Conques in Aveyron

Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

You may not be surprised that it is in a big city, like Toulouse, where you find the largest Romanesque temple that remains standing, the Basilica of San Sernín (San Saturnino).

But if you do one route through the most beautiful villages in Francespecifically in the nearby department of Aveyron, in the same region of Midi-Pyrenees, you can see another Romanesque temple whose majesty will seem much greater when you are in a small village, on the side of a forested hill.

I mean the Conques Abbey, which has in common with San Sernín being part of the French Way of Saint James, and that is considered as World Heritage.

Cloister of the Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

Moreover, the enormous dimensions of these two Romanesque churches built in the eleventh century are due precisely to their double function of having liturgical celebrations and housing the thousands of pilgrims who traveled that path.

History Abbey Conques

Specifically, the current building of the Abbey of the Santa Fe de Conques It was built in 1031 on an old hermitage of the 10th century, and the works lasted until 1125.

For a total length of 56 meters, this Romanesque church has a large transept, 35 meters, with the aim of having ample space for pilgrims.

Its interior height will also surprise you. 22 meters in the central nave, and 10.30 meters in the side aisles. For its part, the height of the dome of the lantern tower, already in Gothic style, which was raised in the fifteenth century, is 26 meters.

Reliquary of the Treasury of the Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

The result is a Romanesque church of such dimensions that makes it an exceptional building.

In Conques initially a Benedictine monastery was installed, but from the 16th century it was the Augustinians who came to reside therein. Currently there are still five Augustinian monks.

What to see in Abbey of Conques

your visit of the Abbey of Santa Fe fromConques You can start it in the so-called Conques Treasure. You can find the museum in the building in the old cloister of the monastery, from the 11th century.

Cloister of the Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

With very modern facilities, behind an impressive access door to this real security camera you will find two rooms where you can see a set of reliquaries unique in the world, some of which date back to the seventh and eighth centuries.

Among this true treasure of goldsmith there is a locket that was ordered to do by Charlemagne, at the end of the 11th century.

And also a locket given by the Bishop of Barbastro that is said has a relic of the Cross of Christ.

The most significant artistic work preserved in the Conques Treasure is the Majesty of the Holy Faith, a large reliquary in the form of a statue made of gold and precious stones during the 9th and 10th centuries.

Tympanum of the Cover of the Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

Your subsequent visit to the church forces you first to stop at the porch to carefully see the impressiveeardrum of the Abbey of Conques, in which through 124 characters the theme of Final judgment.

You will be facing one of the most important sculptural works in France made during the 12th century.

At interior of the Abbey of Conques the most significant must be a tour of the different capitals, where various scenes of great artistic value are shown.

Dome of the Abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

In this eagerness to see the capitals, you should sign up for the Guided visits that Conques Tourist Office organized to climb the stands, that is, to the upper floor that runs through the aisles and the apse of the building.

On the tour of the high stands you can also see closely the modern stained glass made by the artist Pierre Soulages, which ended in 1994.

Capital inside the Abbey of Conques in southern France

These visits are carried out in French during the period from April to September, with a duration of 45 minutes and a price of 4.50 euros.

In the most tourist months, visits are also made in Spanish, which you can check in the aforementioned office, very close to the abbey.

Yes, the guided tour of the stands of the Abbey of ConquesFor security reasons, it cannot be done by children under 12 years old.

Romanesque abbey of Conques in Aveyron in southern France

Apart, they are also performed guided tours of the abbey, which are also performed at certain times in Spanish. This visit begins before the eardrum, and then continues inside, where the history of the temple and its architectural features are explained.

He price This 45-minute visit is 4 euros for adults and 2 euros for children.

More photos of the Abbey of Conques

Organ of the Abbey of Conques in southern France

Video: The Magnificent Abbey Church of Ste. Foy Conques, France (December 2019).