Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Toulongergues

Traveling just a few miles south of Villeneuve, our goal was to find this pre-Romanesque church in the tiny village of Toulongergues. The tourist brochure we picked up noted that it is one of the oldest buildings in southern France. We were fascinated with its round corners, dry stone constructed walls, and the lack of windows. Again according to the brochure, 'surveys carried out beneath the church show evidence of a 4th-century burial ground.' It's thought that this area was part of the Roman empire in Gaul where mining operations were conducted. Unfortunately, the church wasn't open for us to see the 11th century murals painted on the walls of the choir. Which means a return trip, I think!
We were equally intrigued by the even larger stone building next to the church which bore this stone carving over its door. With no identifying characteristics, the building's function puzzled us. As I sleuthed around on the internet seeking information to write this blog post, I found a mention at a 'friends of the church' site that the first prior whose name is known, Pons de Cardaillac, 'rebuilt the house next to the church' in 1450 making this the priory or residence of the person in charge. This same website is a wonderful source of the church's history and is illustrated with several photos of the interior. Although it's in French, it's worth a look just to see what the inside looks like. Click here to find it.

Our day of exploring isn't over yet. Follow this guy to our next adventure....

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