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La Romieu

UNESCO Heritage List

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The La Romieu little village - population 550 - was founded in 1062 by to Benedictine monks after their pilgrimage to Rome.
In the 14th century Arnaud d'Aux de Lescout, a native of La Romieu who later became Cardinal and Chamberlain to his cousin Pope Clément V, decided to built a religious college in his village.
Arnaud d'Aux, called by Clément's successor Pope John XXII "one of the pillars of the Catholic Church" is mostly known for his presiding over the process of the Templars that started in 1307 and the process of canonization of Saint Thomas d'Aquin.
The collegiate was built between 1312 and 1318 and was inaugurated the 30 of July 1318.
At the time it was including the church - the cardinal who died in August 1321 and is buried inside - the octagonal 34 meter tower called "The Cardinal's Tower" or "The Tower of the Sacristy" on the East side of the church and a palace that was destroyed mainly during French Revolution.
The octagonal tower has 3 levels, each level consisting of a room with beautifully arched ceiling and slit windows. The tower is toped with a nice belvedere with two windows on each side of the octagon.
The cloister and the rectangular bell tower were built at later date.
In 1569, during the Religious Wars the building complex along with the whole village was plundered by the Protestant armies of led by Gabriel de Lorges, Count of Montgommery.
Since 1998 La Romieu Collegiate is listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List together with other monuments on the route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle. La Romieu is also a … cat lover village. There are cat statues in the centre of the "bastide" and the legend says that the village was, in old times, … twice saved by cats, first when the crops were so poor that the famine came into the village houses and the peasant had to eat their… cats to survive and later, when ALMOST no cat was left and the crops, that improved, were threatened by rodents, the cats kept hidden until then by the village girl Angeline saved again the community by destroying the rodents!
Each year, in mid -August, La Romieu celebrates The Festival of Cats.

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Address:32480 La Romieu
Visiting Hours:November, December, January, February:
From Monday to Saturday:
from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5:30pm
Sunday: from 2:00pm to 5:30pm
March, April, May:
From Monday to Saturday:
from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6:00pm
Sunday: from 2:00pm to 6:00pm
May, June, September:
From Monday to Saturday:
from 9:30am to 6:30pm
Sunday: from 2:00pm to 6:30pm
July, August:
From Monday to Saturday:
from 9:30am to 7:00pm
Sunday: from 2:00pm to 7pm


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