Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beautiful Romanesque church features the Last Judgment Tympanum

The Abbey of St. Foy, nestled in the hills of southern France is a beautiful Romanesque church perfectly aligned with its surroundings. The tiny village of Conque that surrounds the abbey echoes its pointed towers in the surrounding architecture. The abbey is also the only medieval shrine on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela that survives intact.

Last Judgment in the tympanum at the Abbey of st. Foy bristles with hideous imagination of the fate to befall sinners in the afterlife.

Last Judgment in the tympanum at the Abbey of st. Foy bristles with hideous imagination of the fate to befall sinners in the afterlife.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/17/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: Abbey of St. Foy, france, Conque, Last Judgment in the tympanum


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts of the medieval walls still survive, along with three of its gates. The houses date from the late Middle Ages and are divided by cobbled lanes and stairways that are a pleasure to wander. The abbey's fortress-like facade overlooks a small cobbled square beside the tourist office and pilgrims' fountain and is surrounded by terraced gardens.

The most notable feature on the exterior of what is an otherwise plain church is a large Romanesque carving of the Last Judgment in the tympanum over the main doors. Sculpted between 1107 and 1125, under Abbot Boniface, the scene is full of activity, expression and detail. Some of the original paint remains. Many of the figures are contemporary historical persons, including specific abbots, bishops and kings - several of who appear to be cast into the fiery pit!

Christ in Majesty presides over the scene in the center, while the Archangel Michael and a demon weigh the souls of the dead on scales at his feet.

A procession of saints and historical figures - including a Conques abbot and Emperor Charlemagne, move in procession on the left. On the right is a group of four angels and some creative punishments of the damned.

Above Christ's head, angels hold banners with inscriptions reflecting a passage from Matthew:

"Then he will say to the people on his right: come you who are blessed by my father come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you. Then he will say to those on his left : away from me, you that are under God's curse, away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil... and these then will be sent off to eternal punishment, and the righteous will go to eternal life."

On the bottom level, Heaven and Hell are depicted as roofed buildings, each with an entrance door. On the right side of the scene, the damned are pushed into the Jaws of Hell.

The tortures and torments of Hell are shown in great detail and include some characters disliked by the monks: a bishop who governed the area is caught in a net and poachers on abbey property are roasted by the rabbit they had caught.

The righteous, are portrayed on the left, less vividly but still in impressive detail. The chosen ones are being welcomed by angels, who lead them gently by the hand to an ornate door. Heaven is shown as a city, representing the ideas of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Heavenly Jerusalem. Abraham takes the center, who embraces two saved souls. He is flanked by prophets on the right and saints on the left, each represented by pairs of men and women.

"The assembled saints stand before Christ, full of joy. Thus are given to the chosen who have won the joys of heaven, glory, peace, rest and eternal light. The chaste, the peace-loving, the gentle, the pious, are filled with joy and, secure, have nothing to fear."
             
For the damned on the way to judgment, the inscription reads "The depraved are plunged into purgatory. The wicked suffer the torments of the damned, roasting in the midst of flames and demons, perpetually groaning and trembling. Thieves, liars, deceivers, misers, ravishers, are all condemned with criminals.
             
"O sinners, if you do not mend your ways, know that you will suffer a dreadful fate."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Travel

See the largest shopping mall in the ancient world where Christians could shop one day and die the next! Watch

Image of Martyrs were put to death in the Circus Maximus, as shown in this classic artwork.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ancient Roman shopping mall where Christians would have shopped has been reopened to the public, at the same site where ancient Christians would have died for their faith. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The largest shopping mall in the ancient world was ... continue reading


How to navigate the world's largest natural aquarium Watch

Image of Xcaret Mexico boasts the world's largest natural aquarium.

By Mica Lafkan (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're big on hot sands, cool clear waters and the beautiful home to the world's largest natural aquarium, Xcaret Mexico is the place for you! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Xcaret (ISH-kar-et) is a combination of the Mexico's greatest features - it boasts good ... continue reading


Why is the world warning against travel to the United States? Watch

Image of Why would other countries warn against traveling to the United States (sweetsouthernhome)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

News of the controversy and hate crimes linked between the black community, police officers, the LGBT community, racial relations and ongoing threats of a terrorist attack has other countries warning travelers against visiting the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


3 beautiful Holy islands you MUST visit soon Watch

Image of Find your spiritual restoration at one of these holy islands (Terry Cavner).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Looking for someplace to visit that has a rich history and a beautiful shoreline? Consider one of these three Holy islands as your next vacation getaway! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traveling can be a wonderful way to ... continue reading


How people celebrate St. Patrick's Day around the world! Watch

Image of How do YOU celebrate St. Patrick's Day (Sammy and the City)?

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Festivals, parades, parties and more - St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in wonderfully unique ways across the globe! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Patrick felt called to spread Christianity throughout Ireland and worked to teach the locals for the last forty ... continue reading


The unbelievable shocking things air travelers tried to bring on board Watch

Image of While this statue of a monster holding a grenade is a whimsical joke, airport officials will have to delay passengers boarding until they determine that the grenade is a fake.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With a heightened sense of terrorism gripping the travel industry today, it's amazing to learn what things passengers bring with them on to planes. All manner of bizarre - and deadly items are found in carry-on luggage. Everything thing from razors-harp ... continue reading


You won't believe what happens now when you don't pay taxes! Watch

Image of Better keep up with your taxes or your next trip out of the country might get canceled.

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The United States government passed a law earlier this month allowing for passport revoktions of anyone owing delinquent taxes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "You could be on your honeymoon and they could revoke your passport," said Tom Wheelwriight, a certified ... continue reading


5 amazing safe holiday travel tips you can't go without this year Watch

Image of Safe travels with your family can be simplified by following a few basic safety rules.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years just around the corner, people around the world are planning to travel to visit with friends and family. Any form of travel comes with its own hazards, but Catholic Online has five top safety tips for the holiday traveler. LOS ... continue reading


Top 5 Catholic Bucket List Destinations Watch

Image of St. Michael Guardian Angel Travel Protection Clip (Catholic).

By Mica Lafkan (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As Catholics, we know the world offers a variety of historically religious landmarks from the River Jordan to the birthplace of Christ, our Savior. So, after scrimping and saving you're ready to go out and explore religiously-relevant locations across the ... continue reading


Pilgrimage of Mary: The Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Gorreti Watch

Image of St. Maria Goretti's remains are encased inside a glass-sided casket. Inside the casket is a wax statue, which contains her skeletal remains. None of the sacred remains are visible. Nevertheless, the skeleton is complete, with the exception of small fragments that were taken to be placed in altars and for use in the Church's ministry (mariagorettichicago.com).

By Nikky Andres (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

St. Maria Goretti Parish is set to host a tour of the relics of its patron saint, St. Maria Goretti, as part of the Pilgrimage of Mary: The Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Gorreti. The parish is one of more than 50 in the United States to host the major relics of ... continue reading


All Travel News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 3:9-15, 20
9 But Yahweh God called to the man. 'Where are you?' he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
3 Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 8th, 2016 Image

St. Romaric
December 8: In the account of St Amatus of Remiremont it is ... Read More