Condom and Flaran Abbey
UNESCO Heritage List
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The town of Condom is situated in the department of Gers in Midi-Pyrenees region, on the banks of the Baise river.
While it has 18 buildings listed as historical monuments by the Ministry of Culture of France the most important are the Saint Pierre Cathedral and its cloister.
The town of Condom, named in the ancient times "Condatomagus" was inhabited since roman occupation of Aquitaine.
The first Christian church of Condom was built by Benedictine monks in the beginning of the 11th century, and was as it is still dedicated to Saint Pierre.
This first church was replaced in the 14th century by a new one, built on the eastern side of the today cathedral. This 14th century construction was enlarged in the 16th century with what make now the western part of the church.
The Saint Pierre Cathedral is built in a meridional gothic style with a single nave and lateral chapels. Its magnificent choir was built in the 19th century after the manner of the Albi Sainte Cecile Cathedral choir.
In the 16th century, during the French religious wars, the cathedral narrowly escaped destruction of the hands of the Huguenots who spared it in exchange for the ransom paid by the locals.
The cloister was built in the first part of the 16th century and redone in the 19th century.
The cathedral "Saint Pierre" of Condom is listed together with the other religious monuments on the route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Condom is also the "capital" of Armagnac - the eau-de-vie of the south west of France. To learn more about armagnac and its Condom museum click here.
At only 9 km south of Condom is located what is called "One of the Greatest Sites of the Midi-Pyrenees" ("Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrenees") the Flaran Abbey.
The Abbey was founded in 1151 by Cistercian monks.
During the Hundred Years Wars and the Religious Wars the abbey was repeatedly partially destroyed and set on fire and went through major reconstructions in the 17th and the 18th centuries.
What a name! it really exists?
We recently visited Condom and it is a nice little town quite touristic! (Even saw some Saint James de Compostella pilgrims ). We took a little cruise on Baise river which was though a little dissapointment (due to its only one choice menu - duck breast on BBQ)!