The gorge near the river Dourdou lightly touches a small hamlet surrounded by mountains and vegetation, a small touch of paradise on Earth. The Conques-en-Rouergue is one of the most beautiful places in France, where heritage monuments exist alongside nature’s bounties. A part of the Aveyron department in the Massif Central, the Abbey and Treasury of Conques is listed as UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity sites.
HOW TO GET THERE
Driving is the most direct way to get to Conques, and from Paris, your drive will take you 6 hours and 16 mins. Rodez has both a bus terminal as well as a train station.
Line 223, which follows the Rodez-Marcillac-Conques route, can take you to Conques. The bus line runs every day between 1st April and 31st October. Nearby airports include the Rodez-Aveyron airport and the Blagnac-Toulouse airport.
HISTORY & CULTURE
In roughly 500 AD, Charlemagne provided money to some hermits so that they could build an Abbey. Almost two centuries later, Louis the Pious added more funds for the Abbey when he asked to create a Benedictine Abbey.
In the 8th century, a monk named Dadon came to live in Conques. Following him, a group of Benedictine monks also settled in the area. Among them was a man named Ariviscus. He located and brought back a relic belonging to Saint Foy of Agen.
This turn of events attracted pilgrims to Conques. The village already fell close to the pilgrims’ route during their visit to Santiago de Compostela. Saint Foy’s relic had a reputation for curing blindness. This attracted pilgrims and made Conques a popular stop-by on the way to Compostela.
Rent a holiday cottage in France in Conques. Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, hiking shelters, and campsites are also available.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Conques, one of the most beautiful places in France, is most crowded between July and August. You can also plan your trip in October to experience the religious processions in the city.
Walk, hike, or cycle around Conques to experience the preserved natural beauty of the area.
TOP THINGS TO DO
Conques is a picturesque fairytale-like village nestled in the mountains and shrouded with seasonal flora and fauna. Both the Abbey and the Treasury are UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity listed cultural sites.
- The Abbey, built between the 10th and 12th centuries, is complete with architectural renovations by the esteemed Pierre Soulages.
- The Abbey’s tympanum hosts the painting of the Last Judgment.
- The Treasury, housing the Statue of Saint Foy. Called ‘His Majesty,’ the gold-plated bejeweled statue has to be seen to be believed.
- The Pilgrim’s Bridge is the path the pilgrims took to reach Conques.
- Porte du Barry, where most mills and tanneries operated in Medieval times.
- Chapelle Saint-Roch, the original castle of Conques.
ACTIVITIES TO TRY
In Conques, one of the most famous places in France, there’s always something to look forward to. You can try
Touring the Abbey at night. Listen to the organ music play as you enjoy the night-time scenic beauty of Conques.
- The carrying of the processional Cross on the first Sunday after the 6th of October.
- The summer festival of La Lumière du Roman.
- Camping and hiking in the picturesque mountains.