Moissac’s Cloister, Tuesday 7th November 2017

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1,000 year-old Cloister at St Peter’s Abbey, Moissac

We were so taken with Moissac that we ended up staying here for 12 days, our longest stay anywhere in our 8 years motorhoming!

As intended, we visited the Cloister last Tuesday afternoon and were not disappointed.  This is simply a magnificent building, if only because it has stood here for 1,000 years, making it the oldest in the world, in excellent condition and defying all odds through History.  Its 76 marble columns and stone capitals depicting Bible scenes, Saints’s lives and ornamental plants are simply exquisite.  I wonder what the architect, stone carvers and builders would think if they knew that 1,000 years after their hard work, people from all over the world would stand there in amazement enjoying the beautiful fruits of their labour.  I hope they know somehow.

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Amazing columns and capitals at the Cloister, with Gothic arches
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Marble pillar with inscription mentioning the cloister foundation in the year 1,100
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Daniel in the Lions Den
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Plant carving decoration on capital

I especially liked the stone carving of St Peter’s holding the keys to Heaven, also depicted on the main portal of the Abbey.

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Pillar with carving of St Peter holding the keys to heaven

Unfortunately, I was appalled to learn that in the mid 19th century, the railway linking Bordeaux and Sète was built running through the refectory in the north part of the Abbey, cutting it in half, but despite the wreckage, the Cloister and Portal were listed in UNESCO World Heritage in 1998.

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The railway cutting abbey in two
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Bridge over railway cutting abbey in half

Last week, we also had a chance to go on a hike along the canal to the Pont Canal du Cacor and cross the river Tarn, walking back along the road by river and to the Pont Napoléon, near Moissac’s old mill, which was so profitable to the town thanks to the flour trade, and now a hotel.

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Pont Canal du Cacor
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Walking along the Port Canal du Cacor

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The old mill on the river Tarn at Moissac, now a hotel

While Adonis was fishing, I wandered through town on my own to re-visit the Medieval part near the Abbey with its amazing houses and doors, some displaying the scallop shell welcoming pilgrims on the Way to Santiago de Compostela, as Moissac is a major stop on this pilgrimage.

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Old doors in Medieval part of town near Abbey

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This old door knocker caught my eye
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Scallop shell on door welcoming pilgrims on the Way to Santiago de Compostela. But who’s that taking the photo?

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Back at the aire, we met another charming couple from the UK, Mick and Sue, with whom we had a couple of drinks and long chats exchanging experiences and useful information and with whom we hope to keep in touch.

We had a wonderful meal at Le Fromage Rit restaurant by the Abbey, which was very unusual, all seasonal and local products, every dish explained in detail by very friendly waitress who speaks several languages.  We highly recommend it.

We also did a pre-run of a sort of Christmas dinner, roasting a chicken, potatoes and parsnips in our Cobb Premier cooker/BBQ/grill and, although the food turned out beautiful, we were amazed to find when I went to clean it the next day, that one of the grommets on the rubber ring of the outer casting had melted and welded itself onto the inner sleeve, which we can’t take out now to clean separately.  We think we can still use it, but are worried that next time we roast a chicken on Christmas Day, the whole rubber ring might melt.  I sent an email to the manufacturers yesterday, but I haven’t heard back yet.

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Melted rubber ring on Cobb cooker!

Back to Condom for a couple of days today.

And as a final thought, we even found Our Lady of Fatima in the Abbey, whom I got my name from.


6 thoughts on “Moissac’s Cloister, Tuesday 7th November 2017

    1. Yes, they did. I wonder what our generation will leave behind. Mind, those new buildings in Valencia were pretty awesome too, but you don’t see the individual hands on today’s architecture. It all seemed more personal then.

      Liked by 1 person

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