Abbey Church of Saint Foy

Conques, France

The Abbey Church of Saint Foy in Conques was a popular stop for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The main draw for medieval pilgrims at Conques were the remains of Saint Faith (St. Foy), a martyred young woman from the fourth century.

The original monastery building at Conques was an eighth-century oratory built by monks fleeing the Saracens in Spain. The original chapel was destroyed in the 11th century in order to facilitate the creation of a much larger church as the arrival of the relics of St. Foy caused the pilgrimage route to shift from Agen to Conques. The second phase of construction, which was completed by the end of the 11th century, included the building of the five radiating chapels, the ambulatory with a lower roof, the choir without the gallery and the nave without the galleries. The third phase of construction, which was completed early in the 12th century, was inspired by the churches of Toulouse and Santiago Compostela.

Like most pilgrimage churches Conques is a basilica plan that has been modified into a cruciform plan. Galleries were added over the aisle and the roof was raised over the transept and choir to allow people to circulate at the gallery level. The western aisle was also added to allow for increased pilgrim traffic. The exterior length of the church is 59 meters. The interior length is 56 meters. the width of each transept is 4 meters. The height of the crossing tower is 26.40 meters tall.

The Abbey Church of Saint Foy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1998, as part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. Its Romanesque architecture, albeit somewhat updated in places, is displayed in periodic self-guided tour opportunities, especially of the upper level, some of which occur at night with live music and appropriately-adjusted light levels.

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Address

Conques, Conques, France
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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dom Einhorn (2 years ago)
The Abbey Church of Conques was a popular stop for pilgrims traveling the Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela, in what is now Spain. The main draw for medieval pilgrims at Conques were the remains of St. Foy, a young woman martyred during the fourth century.
davy Sukamta (2 years ago)
The abbey is a wonderful piece of architecture with radiating chapels. It is a pilgrimage church with very liitle ornamentation except the Last Judgement tympanum above the western door, which is a masterpiece of medieval art, depicting Christ presiding over the judgement of souls.
Matthieu B (3 years ago)
This beautiful abbaye sits in a medieval city with much to see. Old climbing streets with medieval style houses. Many restaurants and souvenir shops. This is on the way of the Santiago Christian pilgrimage.
Eric Delamere (3 years ago)
This was an excellent visit, we were shown round the abbey and cloisters by our extremely informative guide. The Abbey building itself was spectacular and located in a wonderful setting, another of the beau villages of France. We also got to see the treasures (relics) many of which have are invaluable theological value, as well as very high monetary value. An excellent visit, recommended.
Eric Kaufman (3 years ago)
Beautiful Romanesque church whose titular saint is (according to medieval stories a about her) a slightly irritable teenage girl with a penchant for gifts of jewelry who has been reported to spurn devotes who brought unsuitable gifts. This church is remarkably preserved and exhibits many architectural features in their 12th century form.
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