Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Lombez Tower

Trip to Aude / Midi-Pyrénées: Day 8 (Afternoon)

Having checked out Space Cattle country, we nosed our steed homewards, towards Lyon, taking a long arc through Toulouse and Carcassonne.
We were zipping along fast, almost halfway to Toulouse. We had taken the ‘scenic route’, as usual, but it was still pretty boring. Nothing like the amazing route from Perpignan to Lourdes. When we were brought up short by this extraordinary structure peeping over the horizon.

We decided to investigate. It turned out to be the bell tower of the town of Cathedral of Lombez.
This 14th century brick structure sits atop an older 12th century church. We entered the cathedral. 
A narrow brick winding staircase took us up the bell tower. 

Unfortunately, the way to the top was blocked. In a small room about midway up, we saw the church organ, in a state of disassembly.

Unlike other historic spots that we had seen in the south of France, this one did not seem in good repair. Possibly because it is off the tourist radar and does not get funds. Which is a shame, because it is possibly one of the loveliest spots we had yet visited. The church was in a state of gloom. Most of the lights did not seem to work. Again a shame, because there were works of rare beauty in there.

Two photos of relics in the gloom - artificially lightened using Photoshop
Especially a statue of a wounded Christ reclining, which was impossible to photograph in the light. But here is another of Christ and Mother Mary, which had better light.
There is a glass floor that lets you see the older structures on which this church was built.

Once out of the church, I took some more photos of that fascinating tower.

Then we walked around the 12th century old town. This was more beautiful than any beau village we had visited. Possibly because it really looks ‘lived in’. Most of the official ‘beaux villages’ look like preserved museum pieces.

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