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Cathedral Church of Ste-Foy, Conques


October 2007


Link to photo page on the Last Judgement tympanum of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy, Conques


Link to Main Conques Page


Link to Maps of the Pilgrimage Roads of France


Back to from Aubrac to the River Lot and Conques










The famous Last Judgement tympanum of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy dates from the early 1100s.  It has a cast of 124 figures, and was originally brightly painted.


Link to stunning photos of the Last Judgement tympanum of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy, Conques





The tall and narrow Romanesque nave of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy.  Most of the best of the surviving capitals are high high up on the columns of the gallery  ("tribune") over the aisle vaulting.  Sadly the stairs inside the west door which  led up there were closed. 


The narrowness of the nave is down to the barrel vaulted design of its stone roof which had very limited carrying capacity!   - which places it among the earliest of large European churches.  As barrel / groin vaulting became ribbed, and pointed arches evolved and Romanesque morphed into Gothic, wider roof structures could be supported.  Durham Cathedral, which is almost the same age as Ste-Foy was the first to experiment with more ambitious technologies.




Tongue Loller




Church Capital - The Condemnation of Ste-Foy



Church Capital - The Sacrifice of Abraham (or more accurately his son)



Postcard Photo


"L'Atlante" - one of the tribune capitals






Annunciation Romanesque (north transept) by a more mature angel (with toupée ?) than usual.



For interest:  Donatello's Annunciation in the Cavilcante Chapel in the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence More Annunciations.





A Candle in Memory of


Peggy Fletcher (1917 - 2005)



Something about the peaceful beauty and ambience of the village of Conques and the church of the child martyr Ste-Foy made me feel strongly the memory of my mother,  who had passed away two years previously.  She loved children and worked for more than two decades as a helper at the local village primary school. 


Here is the "ten day candle" dedicated to her, which would have been helping to light the passage of the beautiful gold reliquary statue of Ste-Foy on her annual outing from the Abbey Treasury on her saint's day two days after the candle had been lit.


Merci pour toutes les choses.


Adrian Fletcher, Conques, October 2007




St-Jacques le Pèlerin





The famous and arresting gold reliquary statue of Ste-Foy (life sized), dates from around 900 and Foy's  blue eyes used to stare into the eyes of the pilgrims from her original position at the head of the abbey church's choir.  The saint's relics were recessed into a hollow space at the back of the figure.


The statue's body is built up on a roughly carved yew tree wood base, with gold leaf and jewellery added bit by bit over the years.  The head looks more like that of a man, and it was ascertained in the 1950s that it is in fact a completely separate hollow metal structure which is much older than the body - possible even the head of an emperor of the later Roman Empire.


To stand in front of her in the Cathedral Museum is indeed a very special experience, especially knowing that she was the only major shrine figure to survive the 100 Years' War (1337 - 1453), the Wars of Religion (1562 - 1598) and the Revolution (1789 et seq).



Link to photo page on the Last Judgement tympanum of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy, Conques



Link to Main Paradoxplace Conques Page






Link to Conques web site (including an english translation and photos from the book on the right)




Link to Sacred Destinations page on Conques


Link to Wikipedia page on Conques




Link to Editions Sud-Ouest and this book (and an English guide book they publish)



For other Paradoxplace links visit the home page


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