Curiosity monuments of Occitanie !!!

Another of my favorite regions of my belle France, this is the new Occitanie that is really very old… I found me some paper photos of old , older road warrior trips and decided to put them in my blog. After all, this is my life’s story and like to share it with the world. Therefore, here are some curiosity monuments of Occitanie !!!

Lourdes is located in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, 65 in the Occitanie region. Located at the foot of the Pyrenees, in the historic region of Bigorre, on the Gave de Pau. The sanctuary is located at the exit of the city following the Gave de Pau. The origin of the city of Lourdes is certainly illustrated by a legend. However, it should be noted that this only dates back to 1118. It is a chronicle of the Irish monk, Marfin, and rediscovered in the 17C. In France and internationally, Lourdes is the Marian city par excellence. It is a world center of pilgrimages whose history began in February 1858,

In 1858, Bernadette Soubirous said that a White Lady presented to her saying “I am the Immaculate Conception”, which is considered to be a designation of the Virgin Mary identified with her own conception appeared to her several times in the small cave of Massabielle, bordering the Gave de Pau to the west of the city, Work on the sanctuary began the same year. A first chapel was replaced by the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception below which the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was then built to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims. They are both located above the cave.

The site of the sanctuary covers 52 hectares, its center is the Grotto of Massabielle and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary completed in 1889, overlooked by the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The huge Basilica of St. Pius X, inaugurated in 1958, is built entirely of concrete and extends even further underground. The Marian shrine welcomes several million pilgrims each year. The last building built is the Sainte-Bernadette Church.

Lourdes basilica and crown Virgin

Other things to see are the Pyrenean Museum established within the walls of the castle, The fortified castle of Lourdes, in turn the main residence of the Count of Bigorre in the 11-12C, passing from hand to hand in the 13-14C, royal prison in the 17-18C, then Pyrenean Museum (arts and popular traditions of the Pyrenees) from 1921. The Nativity Museum: nativity scenes animated by sound and light, The Lourdes Museum: evoking the history of Lourdes from 1858 to the present day, The Wax Museum: 18 scenes and 100 wax figures, The Musée du Petit Lourdes: walk in the middle of nature around a miniature Lourdes in the year 1858. The House of Bernadette and family sites of Soubirous. At the Bernadette Museum, a diorama of 18 scenes presents the life of Bernadette Soubirous and the story of the apparitions. The small place of Marcadal, at the entrance of the rue de la Grotte and in the heart of the city is always animated, it is marked by the presence of a monumental fountain ,The parish Church of the Sacred Heart. The construction of this parish church in neo-Romanesque style, The church holds since July 13, 2011 a relic of Blessed John Paul II which was sent to it by the Holy See. It is a fragment of the cassock that the former Pope wore during the assassination attack of May 13, 1981.

The city of Lourdes and its history:

The Lourdes tourist office on the sanctuary

The town of Moissac is located in the Tarn-et-Garonne 82 department in the Occitanie region. The town is known as the “city of Chasselas”, named after the table grape originating from the village of Chasselas (Saône-et-Loire); the production in AOC “chasselas de Moissac”, is practiced by the farmers of the canton. During WWII, Moissac was a refuge for the large community of Israelite Scouts of France (EIF). The latter, lodged at the Moulin de Moissac, or for the youngest at the Maison des enfants de Moissac, remained there during the war thanks, among other things, to the benevolence of the municipal authorities and the population , Ten inhabitants of Moissac were honored as Righteous among the nations

St. Peter’s Church, former abbey church with the portal from 1130, one of the masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture. Of the 11C church, all that remains is the massive bell tower-porch, a kind of keep with a walkway, built for defensive purposes but whose top floor only dates from the end of the Gothic period. Cloister late 11C, one of the best preserved in the Christian West.

Moissac abbaye st Pierre

Other things to see here are : The Saint-Martin Church, The Saint-Julien Church, The Saint-Jacques Church, The 356 meters long, Cacor canal bridge allows the side channel of the Garonne to cross the Tarn, just outside Moissac, The Moissagais Museum is housed in the former Abbots’ House, an imposing building flanked by a crenellated 13C brick tower. Two maps show the influence of the abbey in the Middle Ages. The Napoleon bridge: decided by Napoleon I and finished by Napoleon III, we have a view of the quays and the Saint-Jacques bridge , Moissac is one of the few towns on the Via Podiensis where we find mention of a brotherhood of Saint Jacques. This association appears late, in 1523.

The official Abbey Church of Moissac

The Moissac tourist office on the abbey church:

The town of Montsaunès is located in the Haute-Garonne department, 31 in the Occitanie region. It is 68 km from Toulouse, Historically and culturally, Montsaunès is part of the country of Comminges, corresponding to the former county of Comminges, district of the province of Gascony located in the current departments of Gers, Haute- Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and Ariège , Until the French revolution, the parish of Montsaunès formed with the parish of Mazères-sur-Salat one of the Languedocian enclaves of “Petit-Comminges”, one of the 24 civil dioceses of the Languedoc.

The Saint-Christophe Church is the only Templar church in France whose architecture has remained intact. The church is a large brick building which dates back to the end of the 12C. It has retained its remarkable decorations which make it famous. Indeed, two portals with finely chiseled figurations in white limestone, as well as the painted interior set, allow us to grasp the religious and symbolic dimensions of the Templars. The portal capitals date back to the end of the 12C and are among the most beautiful in Comminges. Staged in stylized architectural settings, they refer to various episodes of the New Testament and in particular to the childhood of Jesus, or to the life of certain apostles or holy martyrs (crucifixion of St Peter, stoning of St Stephen, etc.). The arch of the western portal is decorated with carved masks.

Montsaunes ch Saint Christophe des Templiers chevet 12C

Montsaunes ch Saint Christophe des Templiers nave to altar

The local Cagire Garonne Sarlat tourist office no the church

The town of Montesquieu-Volvestre is located in the Haute-Garonne department 31 in the Occitanie region. It is located 47 km from Toulouse . A Bastide, created in 1238 by the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VII, who decided to establish a new city in a loop of the Arize. From the Middle Ages until its disappearance in 1790 during the French revolution, Montesquieu-Volvestre was part of the Diocese of Rieux. The architectural heritage of the town includes two buildings, the Château de Palays, and the Saint-Victor Church

The Saint-Victor Church dating from the 13C. The massive fortified brick facade reminds us that the church, a place of meditation, was also part of the city’s defense system. Its 32-meter bell tower with 16 sides, lit on the three upper floors by Gothic openings, is extremely rare. It has rich furniture, an entombment carved in stone (15C), a Baroque altarpiece and paintings, including the Deposition from the Cross by Girodet (18C).

Montesquieu-Volvestre ch saint victor front 16C

Other things to see here are the Moulin sur l’Arize Moulin de Barrau (15-18C) one of the few mills still in operation , The Château de Palays 13C at the confluence of the Arize and Pas-du-Rat rivers (private),

The town of Montesquieu Volvestre on its heritage

The  local Volvestre area tourist office on the church:

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior trip in my belle France and gorgeous Occitanie region, Hope you enjoy the tour as I and thanks for reading along my escapades,

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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2 Comments to “Curiosity monuments of Occitanie !!!”

  1. I really like these old pictures. Real film?

    Liked by 1 person

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