By Ina Caro

Strains the background of France alongside a chronological trip that levels from the Roman affects on Provence and the monuments of medieval chivalry in Dordogne, in the course of the chateaus of the Loire Valley, to the courts of Ile-de-France.

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The answer to his challenge used to be no longer special; over 100 thefts of relics by means of rival monasteries have been recorded throughout the Age of religion. Vézelay, for instance, stole the relics of Mary Magdalene from one other monastery, and in its flip Vézelay was once approximately destroyed whilst clergymen from another monastery, at close by Autun, attempted to thieve these is still, which, because it occurred, became out to be faux. ) Conques’s abbot chosen considered one of his clergymen, Ariviscus, for the robbery from Agen. Arriving on the Agen monastery, Ariviscus found that the relics have been guarded evening and day by way of depended on clergymen. Being in no hurry to come to Conques, he joined the monastery and waited. Ten years later the brotherhood at Agen thought of Ariviscus reliable adequate to permit him to protect the treasure. once he was once left on my own, he grabbed the statue and escaped again to Conques on horseback, with the Agen priests in pursuit. The treasure within which the relics of Sainte Foy are encased is a virtually three-foot-high statue prepare over numerous centuries. The face is really a fifth-century gold masks of a Roman emperor, no longer of the martyred younger woman. clergymen of the 9th century joined this masks to a wood middle and lined the wooden with skinny plaques of Merovingian gold. priests of the 10th century extra adorned it with a crown and jewelry of worthy stones, then put it on a gold throne. Its acceptance for curing the blind it from Agen to Conques, in order that by way of 1031 the clergymen of Conques had accrued adequate money to begin development of a Romanesque cathedral. yet any approach they checked out it, the clergymen discovered that blind pilgrims constituted a constrained resource of source of revenue, in addition to being a bunch not often capable of enjoy absolutely the great thing about their newly received treasure. because the cathedral rose, the monk in command of recording miracles spotted that a few workmen who had fallen from steeples in the course of building have been improving. That, the monk discovered in a second of idea, may be referred to as a miracle, too. on the grounds that on the time cathedrals have been being outfitted everywhere France, the therapeutic of cathedral development staff constituted a possible development undefined, and it used to be introduced that visits to Sainte Foy could therapy not just blindness yet accidents incurred by means of workmen development cathedrals. The ensuing Romanesque church at Conques, with its outstanding polychrome tympanum of the final Judgment, is taken into account a version for pilgrimage church buildings of the interval. whereas twelfth-century pilgrims have been detouring to close by Conques in nice numbers, they weren't preventing at Rocamadour. i need to respect the inventiveness, if now not the piety, displayed through the priests of Rocamadour to therapy this example. First, there has been the sword. The remarkable nature of swords was once a standard Celtic trust whilst this zone was once nonetheless pagan. The evolution of a legend reminiscent of Roland and his sword Durendal, or King Arthur and Excalibur, stemmed from the truth that the Druids, the pagan clergymen of Celtic society, have been initially blacksmiths who stored to themselves the secrets and techniques of extracting iron ore from stone and turning the iron into swords.

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