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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Conques, Conques, France
See all sites in Conques

Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam G (5 months ago)
This is the Romanesque pilgrimage church of Saint-Foy in the village of Conques in southern France. Conques is a beautiful village with classic narrow pedestrian-only medieval streets with many of the medieval buildings still remarkably intact. The magnificent Abbey Church of Saint Foy is one of these and is located in the historic town centre of the village. Being an abbey it was once part of a monastery where monks lived, prayed and worked. Built in the architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches, it has a cruciform plan with apse and radiating chapels at its eastern end. The carvings at the Church, such as those of the tympanum of the Last Judgment, above the main entrance doors, are simply amazing!
Mike Staubes (2 years ago)
Pierre Soulages, who passed away in 2022, created windows in the Abbaye Sainte-Foy de Conques. I loved my visit and would recommend visiting Conques.
Adam G (2 years ago)
This is the Romanesque pilgrimage church of Saint-Foy in the village of Conques in southern France. Conques is a beautiful village with classic narrow pedestrian-only medieval streets with many of the medieval buildings still remarkably intact. The magnificent Abbey Church of Saint Foy is one of these and is located in the historic town centre of the village. Being an abbey it was once part of a monastery where monks lived, prayed and worked. Built in the architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches, it has a cruciform plan with apse and radiating chapels at its eastern end. The carvings at the Church, such as those of the tympanum of the Last Judgment, above the main entrance doors, are simply amazing!
Asghar Khan (2 years ago)
The Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy in Conques, France, was a popular stop for pilgrims traveling the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela, in what is now Spain. Main draw for medieval pilgrims at Conques were remains of Sainte-Foy, a young woman martyred during 4th Century CE.
Marie Holm, PhD (3 years ago)
While I'm not fond of the new gray-toned stained glass, everything else about this building and surrounding town is delightful. Tours available from priests with vibrant personalities, clearly keen on sharing and preserving the history. Can sense the significance of this place of pilgrimage, and how impressive a town to arrive to especially for those who hike the journey.
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