High Hopes in the French Alps

Pilgrims Progress?

the cobbles of part of St Jacques de Compostelle - the Pilgrims Way

It was a beautiful autumnal day, although as the day developed the sky was moving in with all the warnings of an approaching front.

Today is the last day we are here at Entraygues and will be moving on tomorrow towards Limoges where we are due to visit another friend in La-Chapelle-aux-Saints.


Sculptures on the West Door of Conques Abbey depicting the Last Judgemnt

We had a visit to Conques and trod some paltry steps on the cobbled stones that many pilgrims have endured along the gruelling trail of the St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrim route. It has a starting point at the Tour St Jacques in Paris and continues on through to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostella in North Western Spain, where the remains of St James are supposedly buried. Apparently the Pilgrim Way dates back to the 10th century. Very interesting to visit, and to witness the ‘shells’ that mark the route, served to solidify the truths of the pilgrims devotions.

Conques is another very picturesque medieval town, it’s like stepping back in time. A fascinating place, in fact the town itself has an aire of the fairytale about it. The Abbey seems somewhat oversized for the size of the town, although has some incredibly detailed sculptures over the west door which were carved between 1107 and 1125 depicting the Last Judgment, the condition of the carvings given it’s age is exceptional.

We seem to be heading further back into history as La-Chapelle-aux-Saints is known for the discovery of the ‘Old Man’  the first  find that shaped modern day perceptions of the Neanderthal, the ‘Old Man’ dates back to the ripe old age of 60,000 years! Whether it’s still there in a museum or something, or if we get to see it at all remains to be seen.

We’ve really enjoyed the last few days and rounded off the evening in a local restaurant enjoying a traditional meal. It looks like we’ll be popping in on our return journey.

October 21, 2010 - Posted by | Holiday

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