A Hidden Treasure

Right before we got back home on our return from Annecy I saw a highway milage sign for Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. I knew this name from a French television show, Les Ailes et Les Racines, which showcases areas of France and I usually see something to put on my list of places to visit. I saw this village with an underground church and found that it was not too far from us, under two hours. So when I saw that sign I said to Maurice, “We’ve got to stop there!”. It turned out to be a lovely village on the list of the most beautiful villages in France. We parked at the top of the village and made our way down the steep street to reach the church which didn’t look like much from the outside. In fact, it had been hidden for years by a landslide and wasn’t rediscovered until the 1950’s.

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This is what you see on one side of the church as you enter. It is a copy of something seen in the Crusades and one of the places religious finds were kept.

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Enormous columns on the other side. The ceiling soared overhead. It was remarkable to think that it had all been carved out of the stone mountain by hand. I think I read that it took six years and it was done in the 12th century.

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There were a lot of burial sites there.

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A reliquary was kept here to be prayed over by pilgrims asking for protection on their journey-this is yet another church on the Camino for those treking to Spain to visit the tomb of Saint James.

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There is a gallery that circles the top of the structure. It used to be connected to the castle in the village and the royalty could enter for services using their own private entrance.

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Another look from the gallery. So many places sort of lost in time which as so interesting to discover.

4 thoughts to “A Hidden Treasure”

  1. Wow, so glad you watch the show and added this amazing place to your list to see. Such an absolutely stunning place and church. Thanks for going 😊

  2. How wonderful that you remembered the name and saw the church. II’ve never heard of it, and would definitely like to see it if I’m ever near there. Fingers crossed!!

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