World Reviewer rating

Not yet rated

The Abbey of Conques

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Midi-Pyrenees, France.

Pin It

Located in a remote Auvergene valley upon a steep and thickly wooded mountain, the Abbey of Conques was one of medieval France's most visited pilgrimage shrines. Church authorities explain that Conques gained renown as an important shrine along one of the four principal routes leading to Santiago de Compostela, because of the 12th century Benedictine abbey which contained the miraculous relics of St. Foy. However, a bit of detective work concerning the life of St. Foy reveals that this person certainly did not have enough time to lead the life of a saint. Foy was a small girl living in Asia Minor who was burnt as a Christian in 303 AD and therefore became classified as a martyr of Christ. There are no stories concerning the child which give any evidence of a saintly life, such as we find with St. Francis, nor any reason that her relics would have spiritual powers.

Furthermore the relics of Foy, like so many others in medieval times, are of dubious authenticity. Indeed, the ‘relics’ of Foy were not even originally kept in Conques but were rather stolen, by a Christian monk, from the church of Agen and then brought to Conques. While certain sacred objects, such as relics of truly saintly persons or items used for centuries of ceremony, do indeed have a power or mysterious energy that contributes to the occurrence of miraculous phenomena, this does not seem to be the explanation for the power of Conques. The site was holy ground long before the arrival of Christianity and to the living earth we must look for an explanation of the miracles.

The Abbey of Conques.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Angkor Wat

    There are two great complexes of ancient temples in Southeast Asia, one at Bagan in Burma, the other at Angkor in Cambodia. The…

  • The Great Pyramid

    The Great Pyramid is the most substantial structure of the ancient world, and one of the most mysterious. Constructed from appr…

  • The Parthenon

    The supreme expression of ancient Greek architectural genius, the Parthenon has enchanted painters and poets for two thousand y…

Nearby Experiences

  • Mourjou Chestnut Festival

    The village of Mourjou en Chataigneraie takes its Autumn harvest of chestnuts and apples very seriously, since so many traditio…

  • Marqueyssac Gardens

    The Marqueyssac Gardens were restored in 1997 and have since become the most visited gardens in Périgord. Here, under the inf…

  • Cider and Chestnut Festival

    Sauveterre-de-Rouergue's ripe-coloured, stone and half-timbered houses snuggle against a ruin-topped hill overlooking an idylli…

Related links

Contribute to this page