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Villefranche-de-Rouergue

(home to the Carthusian Hospital Monastery of St-Saveur)

 

October 2007

 

Link to Maps of the Pilgrimage Roads of France

 

Back to from Aubrac to the River Lot and Conques

 

 

Carthusian Hospital Monastery of  Saint Sauveur,  Villefranche-de-Rouergue - Closed October 1 to June 30

 

Villefranche-de-Rouergue is a large sloping town to the south of Villeneuve d'Aveyron.  It too was a bastide, and there is an arcaded but not particularly attractive car parked bastide square in front of the large central church of Notre Dame.   The town grew rich on the back of the local copper mines and associated coin minting operations, which led to the building of several attractive mansions and streets. 

 

 

Team Paradox came here in early October 2007 to see the Carthusian Monastery of  Saint Sauveur, built between 1451 and 1459 about a kilometre outside town.   The short building time was facilitated by a large bequest, which meant that it was possible to employ a workforce of 4 to 5 thousand stone cutters and support workers.  The resulting monastery / hospice and later hospital still has its original small and large cloisters, and a church with notable stained glass and wood carving in the choir.

 

 

Or so we believe from the information in the notice on the firmly locked entry door, because the place is closed completely from October 1 (we rolled into town on 3 October) and does not reopen until July 1.  And that's it - a lengthy discussion with the friendly lady at the tourist office failed to find any solution, and we have had to resign ourselves to the probability of not seeing one of the more attractive of the few remaining cloisters in France (recommended to us by a France living English couple we met on the Camino in Navarre). 

 

We did manage some photos of the misericords in the church of Notre Dame which is in the central arcaded bastide square.  They were done by the same carver who worked on the monastery.  It is very rare in France to find a large set of misericords which have survived in situ (this is our first discovery anyway).  Even better that they were available for photography, though be warned that the light isn't good.

 

 

 

 

"Seduction" ?

 

 

Arrowless centaur!

 

 

Undefaced Mermaid (Siren) holding comb and mirror?

 

Link to more Mermaids

 

 

Could she have been spit roasting with the devil ?  He had odd feet anyway!

 

 

Bathtime

 

 

 

 

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