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Going west from Aubrac to Conques via the River Lot


Link to Maps of the Pilgrimage Roads of France


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The Via Podiensis, the pilgrims' road from le Puy to Conques and then Moissac.



Team Paradox originally planned to use Rodez as a base for exploration of an important area of the medieval pilgrimage roads - bad idea - no Poitiers here - literally one restaurant (full) outside of "bar brasseries" which in reality are smoke filled down market bars - badly lit streets - groups of wine bottle swigging young ferrals with the obligatory Alsatians - hardly anybody else around - felt distinctly unsafe for the only time in France  .....


.... anyway, Rodez was definitely a bad idea, but it led us to explore and discover a really good base further north up the famous Lot River Valley, which is just a short drive from the Dordou Valley whose steep slopes host the magic pilgrimage centre of Conques


This page roughly follows the Via Podiensis from the Aubrac Pass westwards through St-Côme d'Olt, Espalion, Estaing, and Villecomtal to Conques.  In addition there are links to Entraygues-sur-Truyère, Villeneuve and Villefranche-de-Rouergue.









A fine looking but bitterly cold windswept October day at the Aubrac Pass on the Via Podiensis looking west - cold enough in fact to kill one of the camera batteries!  The isolated little village once had a large pilgrims' hospice, but most of its buildings are no more.  The bell of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Pauvres used to be tolled in cold foggy weather to help pilgrims find their way through the desolate wolfy mountain plain to the shelter of the hospice.  Just out of the photo on the right is a gross monster of a (ski) resort building or prison or something.  On the way up there are signs to say whether the pass is open or not, so presumably there is a fair amount of snow.







The Domerie d'Aubrac - Notre-Dame-des-Pauvres



St-Côme d'Olt (Olt is Occitan for Lot)







Espalion to Conques via Estaing (including Villecomtal)



Outside l'Église de Perse (Espalion)

Inside l'Église de Perse







Bessuéjouls (pilgrims' church near Espalion)



Hôtel la Rivière - Entraygues-sur-Truyère






Detail from the the famous tympanum of the Cathédrale Ste-Foy



Cathédrale Ste-Foy, Conques







Villeneuve d'Aveyron





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