A New Podcast – Romanesque Paradise in the Pyrénées

The Pyrénéen town of Prades is our headquarters when we visit this part of French Catalonia. It is surrounded by some of the most pure and beautiful examples of Romanesque architecture and sits in the shadow of the great Mont Canigou, the mystic mountain that dominates the landscape.

We make our home at the Castel Rose, enjoy our meals in the Place de la Republique, drink our strong red wine from the porrón and toast Pablo Casals, whose musical festival has graced the summer landscape for seven decades.

Exterior from garden, Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Codalet (Pyrénées-Orientales) Photo by PJ Aubrey

Here are some links to articles we have written about the churches of the Pyrénées.

Saint Michel de Cuxa
Cuxa Revisited
Saint Martin-du-Canigou
Prieuré de Serrabone
Pablo Casals in the Pyrénées

This podcast can also be found at the following hosting sites along with all of our other previous episodes.


Please listen and if you are so inclined, follow and comment. We are anxious for feedback on this newest Via Lucis venture.

5 thoughts on “A New Podcast – Romanesque Paradise in the Pyrénées

  1. Do you have any photos of the beautiful wooden crucifix you describe in the small chapel? If so, I would love to see them. Would also love to see the post you wrote after the death of your hermit-monk guide.

    Carl Siciliano

  2. Dennis,
    Thanks so much for sharing the post with the stunning photos of the crucifix at Prunet-et-Belpuig.

    In turn I will share this paragraph from a memoir I’m working on. It recounts when I was a very young postulant in an experimental Benedictine monastery, and was first shown the book Christs en Croix Romans by Zodiaque, which initiated me into the love of Romanesque art, especially the amazing wooden crucifixes:

    “On my nineteenth birthday, John gave me a postcard of the face of a Romanesque crucified Christ, and, seeing how deeply I responded to the image, showed me a book of the most incredibly moving crucifixes I’d ever seen: black and white photos of 12th century Romanesque crucifixes carved for churches in France, Germany and Spain. I spent hours gazing at the images, astonished at their silence, stillness, gravity, and gentleness. Those majestic sculptures of the dead Christ seemed to be as sacred as anything made by human hands; they were a doorway for me, a portal to the silent, calm, defenseless Christ I longed to find within my soul.”

    Thanks again,

    Carl Siciliano

  3. Once again you have given us a wonderful audio French tour – thank you. I noticed you mentioned the Col de Tourmalet. This made me smile as I remember the first time I saw the road sign saying Col de Tourmalet as it had brought back memories of watching the Tour de France on television with one of my sons who was and still is a keen cyclist. I was on a coach outing from Lourdes to Gavarnie when I realised I was in the area I had watched so many times on tv .

    I have visited Gavarnie several times since by coach and always make a point of visiting the beautiful tiny church there which is I think 12th Century. The scenery there is spectacular including the longest waterfall in Europe but I seem to be the only one on each occasion to turn right instead of left out of the coach park to visit the church. It was one of those en route for Compostella and on a summer’s day it is a cool retreat from the hot sun.

    I followed up your link to the Crucifix mentioned and was intrigued to see it represents Christ clothed ‘in glory’ as I was under the impression that this was a relatively modern representation replacing the suffering Crucifixes in some churches built in the 1960s.

    One of the most spectacular Crucifixes I have seen, certainly in size, I found by accident in a modern church in Paris. I had decided to visit the area before the 19th Century (?) church was demolished next door and shortly after its modern replacement had been consecrated. The ‘old’ church was indeed in a bad state but it had retained an atmosphere of prayer and I was lucky to be shown round it by the sacristan. Its replacement resembled a hospital operating theatre, all white and clinical, and it saddened me greatly that the old church was shortly to be pulled down.
    Walking round the new church I spotted a door slightly ajar and looking furtively round to make sure I was alone I quickly went in. There leaning up against the wall was an enormous jet black Crucifix – I sat there in wonder for some time and do hope it has now been given a ‘home’ .

    1. Elizabeth, we have never gone south from Luz-Saint-Sauveur to Gavarnie … instead we turned east to Saint Aventin and the remarkable church there. We also do not have the Gavarnie church – Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Port – in our database. That oversight has been corrected and perhaps next time we will be able to go there to photograph. I see that it was added to the Monuments Historique in 1998!

      Thanks again for writing and adding to the the deep interchanges that often occur here. I am fascinated by the black crucifix that you saw in Paris!

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