Abbaye de Moissac Classement au Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO.
Un lieu de paix hors du temps.Présentation de son architecture et de ses sculptures remarquables.
Notre prestation comprend le transport avec un départ de Toulouse à 13h30 et un retour vers 18h pour un groupe de neuf personnes maximum, l'entrée du cloître, la visite commentée du cloître, du porche et de l'église, puis une collation sucrée, une visite aux artisans d'art dans une maison moissaguaise typique, et une promenade facultative sur les rives du Tarn.
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MOISSAC: its history
Once famous for its great mills, Moissac calls to everyone's mind the remarkable chasselas grapes that ripen on the slopes overhanging the town. From these gently rolling hills bristling with vines, the eyes delights in the old monastic town that is so very provincial and we are rather astonished to see the shadow of a fortified belfry stretching over this peaceful scene.
We should like to see this abbey of the Benedictine monks, now a parish, lost in the countryside and, as it were, protected from the world. Such was probably the case as its beginnings in the VIIth century, when its first abbot, Saint Amand, one of the apostles of Aquitaine, gathered his monks together there.Destructions and restorations alterned there throughout the years. In 732 it was burnt by the Saracens, then restored by Pepin the Short and Louis the Debonair; it was one again devastated in the IXth century when the Normans and Hungarians passed the way. It was rebuilt at the end of the Xth century, doubtless too hastily, for in 1030, in the days of Abbot Raymond Ist, the vault of the church collapsed and in 1042 the monastic buildings were the prey of fire.Nothing is more touching than this determination to bind up the wounds, to repair, to fortify, to embellish and prolong the existence of a building which was doomed to destruction without the vigilant attention which has preserved it forever. In 1047, the Archbishop of Cahors, Bernard III, took advantage of Saint Odilon's journey through Quercy to affiliate Moissac to the Cluny order. This was the beginning of its fame.For three centuries, administered by abbots of great ability, protected by Rome, enriched by seignorial and even royal gifts this abbey became one of the most opulent in Christendom; A cluniac monk,Durand de Bredon, who accompanied Saint Odilon in his rounds, was appointed Abbot of Moissac by the latter. In the cloister we shall see the effigy of abbot Durand; he was a great builder and the church which was rebuilt under his direction was consecrated on November 6, 1063, but the work was interrupted and Durand's church was only finished during the last years of the XIth century.
Between 1120 and 1140, a combined belfry and porch was added to the facade. This porch is slightly posterior to the sculpture and the famous spandrel executed after Abbot Ansquitil's death in 1115. The first storey of the tower with its curious arch was erected.We are in the middle of the XIIth century. At that period, for reasons unknown to us, the lay-out and the structure of the church were altered; the nave was rebuilt and roofed in with cupolas, the porch and tower were fortified and the sculptured portal was shifted and carried over to the south side.
In the XIVth century, the church suffered from the Hundred Years' War. It was one again rebuilt (it is the present church)by incorporating elements of the preceding buildings into it.Begun under the abbacy of Aymaric de Roquemaurel (1422-1449) the work was finished by his successor Abbot Pierre de Carmaing (1449-1483).