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St-Côme-d'Olt

(Olt is Occitan for Lot)

 

Link to Maps of the Pilgrimage Roads of France

 

Back to from Aubrac to the River Lot and Conques

 

 

 

 

View of St-Côme d'Olt (on the pilgrims' road from Aubrac to Espalion, Olt is the Occitan for Lot just to simplify matters) seen from the hills to the south.  The large building in the middle distance is the Couvent de Malet which also runs accommodation for pilgrims.  The attractive little Romanesque chapel of St Pierre de la Bouïsse is just off to the left of the photo on an unsignposted street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St-Côme d'Olt has a church built in 1530 with a twisted clocher (spire) - not the product of long lunches but deliberate design.

 

There are other twisted clochers around in France - like Fontaine-Guerin near Baugé, Saint-Bonnet-de-Four (l'Allier) and Mervans (Burgundy) - but this is the most handsome. 

 

Note that there is also a twisted clocher, some 200 years older than this one, adorning St Mary's Church, Chesterfield (England).

 

The only other memorable feature of the church is its 1530s west door, which is filled with striking bas relief wooden panels (left).

 

 

 

 

Further up the hills to the south of the town, the road bisects "La Coulée de Lave" (the pour of lava) which is not actually lava but a river of basalt rocks probably left behind by an ancient glacier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the edge of town, in a nowadays unsignposted place where the common folk (penitants) were allowed to go (the main church was part of a castle / walled town / monastery complex) is the little 1000s Romanesque space of St Pierre de la Bouïsse (aka Chapelle des Penitents) - now a museum with a few of the original roof corbels still in place, including a very centred bicaudal sirène (two tailed mermaid) .......

 

 

 

Link to lots more Mermaids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The walking (Pilgrims') way to Espalion along the banks of the River Olt (Olt is Occitan for Lot)

 

 

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