Village de Conques
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Pubdate 2022-07-01 in tourism
Camino de Santiago
L'Église Abbatiale Sainte-Foy

Village de Conques

Village de Conques
Even long before the famous Sainte-Foy relics came to L'Église Abbatiale Sainte-Foy in Conques, the village was an important place of pilgrimage on the well-trodden path to Saint Jacques de Compostelle, perhaps better known by its Spanish name, Santiago de Compostela. The Sainte-Foy relics first saw the light of day under the macabre circumstances when a little girl, in a France-to-be then occupied by the Romans, was burned at the stake for her refusal to renounce her Christian faith in 303 AD and was thus exalted in martyrdom. Her skeletal remains were placed in a box and toured in secrecy before the Catholic Church finally affirmed its dominance; the relics were then brought to Conques under great commotion, where they still preside today and have since overlooked the millions of pilgrims who traveled to the site to pray.
The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage is initially a Catholic mission, where the final sacred site of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia contains the cathedral of the same name, which houses the relics of the Apostle James. Along the trail many churches similar to L'Église Abbatiale Sainte-Foy are found: monastery churches built in the early Middle Ages in Romanesque style, according to a simple cruciform layout. They were designed to function both in daily monastic life as well as to be able to receive the occasional veritable hordes of pilgrims passing through the villages, without disturbing the regular agenda.
Village de Conques
Foto Conques av Portes jean marc
A classic pilgrimage church has a semicircular ending that surrounds the choir, a so-called apse; this curved corridor allows large crowds to move through the church in worship without colliding with the regular activities in the heart of the choir, at the altar. Apses are often adorned with small niches with relics and other religious artifacts for pilgrims to worship. Even today, these often simple but steadfast churches are a long-awaited sanctuary of sacred reverence after a long day of hiking, and several of the monasteries offer simple accommodation and relaxation. Many nowadays also hike the trail completely without a Christian or otherwise religious agenda, and walk their own way on an inner, as well as an outer, journey.
Today, Conques is as popular an excursion destination as ever, despite the fact that the number of pilgrims has decreased slightly over the years; instead the increasingly secular visitors have taken over. There is plenty of history to delve into here, no matter what part of our era you are interested in. In addition to the fantastically beautiful monastery with its abbey church where you can spend hours just enjoying the tranquility or looking at the decorations of the walls and windows, there are a number of architectural artifacts to peruse.
Village de Conques
Foto Village de Conques av Oliverouge
In the village there are several old but well preserved and charming half-timbered houses, mixed in with more sober limestone facades and small cozy squares with fountains and surrounding restaurants. The culinary map includes everything from rustic family bistros to star-studded restaurants that serve up fantastic gastronomic experiences. Regardless of which wallet you have brought with you and the interest in food and drink accompanying you, the food served is of consistently high class. The ample food scene is based on the plentiful tourism being attracted to Conques through the ages, and in recent years has become a reason for travel in itself. The region as a whole is a gem for those with culinary heeds - we recommend taking the time to drive around and really enjoy la délicieuse cuisine locale.
Village de Conques
Foto Village de Conques av sprymoon
There is much more to discover around Conques; the Romans were diligent in the area and there are impressive ancient remains here in the form of aqueducts, bridges, fortifications, and the like. And if wine is on the agenda, there are a number of winemakers in the region who produce really good wines, as well as, as always in the French countryside, there is an abundance of small local producers of cheese, meat, honey, jams, and marmalades. Our recommendation in the heat of summer: a lazy afternoon pique-nique with freshly purchased local produce is always a great idea!
Video - Village de Conques
Bruno Ohlzon
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