Although I was totally distracted by the charming cottage I blogged about yesterday, this Knights Templar church and commanderie were the real reason for my stop in Soulomes. The village itself is named after the man, Solo Home, who rebuilt it after a barbarian massacre. Sarcophagi excavated in 1995 date from the 9th century. The Templar commanderie was established here in 1160 with the church being ceded to them by the Abbey in Marcilhac in 1280.
This building beside the church, now the presbytery, was built on the site of the original stronghold of the Templars which was fortified and connected to the church by a gallery.
The church, which the Knights Templar dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, contains some nice frescoes. They were probably painted in the 16th century after the dissolution of the Templars. After doing some further reading about them, I'm determined to go back and find the ones that show Jesus walking with Mary Magdalene in a garden and that depict Jesus drawing aside his cloak to show 'doubting' Thomas the wound in his side.
I really appreciated this little brochure that I picked up outside the mairie. It outlines a walk through the village with stops and explanations of the historic buildings. My tour guide was Brother William, an ancient Templar. Quite clever and there was even a little game on the back for children to play...who obviously would be dragged along on the half-hour walk by their parents! This is definitely a village to visit again.