A tourist in Conques 6km
Every French meal is served with bread. The French wipe their plates clean with the bread which is a habit that would be frowned on in an English restaurant. I think it is eminently practical just like every meal is accompanied by a free supply of water. We have things to learn from the French. This was my lunchtime salad snack:
Followed by a coffee. I have been converted to drinking these tiny cups of strong black coffee. In France if you order a cup of coffe this is what is served.
You know I think I will have to return to France, to leisurely lunches on a warm terrace with a glass of rosé.
In Agen in the year 303 a twelve year old girl was martyred and became Saint Foy.
Five centuries later the idea of venerating the physical remains of saints and holy persons became very popular and these bits of bones brought wealth and prestige to monasteries and abbeys. Conques was an insignificant Abbey and thought it needed a relic. By trickery in 866 the remains of Saint Foy were seized from the monastery in Agen (many kilometres distant). This was a theft discreetly called a ‘furtive transfer’!!
As a result of the growing prosperity generated by visiting pilgrims the Abbey was built and the spiritual and artistic influence of Conques continued for three centuries.
The old town was walled and a dry moat was dug also. It is built on a very steep, sunny hillside so it must have been easy to defend. These bread ovens were built outside the town walls to reduce the risk from fire!!