Saturday, April 14, 2012

People of the Cross

I was on the trail of dolmens, but I couldn't help noticing the sign under the directional sign pointing to Lacapelle-Balaguier....Croix des Templiers. As I wound around through the village trying to figure out where the heck I was going, my curiousity naturally led me to take the road indicated to the Croix.  I reasoned that even if it wasn't the right way to find the dolmen, at least I could find the cross. Which I did...I think! There was no plaque or explanation when I reached this tall stone cross located at the crossroads of two narrow rural roads; I assume its the Templar cross. When they returned from the Crusades in the Middle Ages, the Templars built strongholds with villages developing around them all over both the Lot and the Aveyron.  This cross with its splayed arms is typical of Templar crosses; there's a miniature one on the wall of our Templar-built chateau in Cadrieu. What puzzled me about this one are the dates chiesled in the stone at its base: 1711 and 1881. The one Google reference I can find about the cross explains that the cross was put here in 1881 moved from where it was found in the fields of Lespinassiere The people on this cross, though, truly intrigue...
The top figure is obviously Christ crucified; who is this bottom man marked with the Templar cross? Christ risen? A Templar? Adam, perhaps...fallen from grace and covered by a cross rather than a fig leaf? The stonemason who carved the cross? Any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. It is intriguing, especially the Templar cross in a strategic position, but I have no clues about who he is. We recently found a phylloxera cross nearby, covered with figures and inscriptions, which obviously gave the stonemason some scope to exercise his artistry.