Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2013 (2 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 (2 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."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Travel

No longer lost, 'lost cities' still fascinating to visit in modern day Watch

Image of Persepolis, Iran, known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lost cities, built by ancient man, that have survived into the present day offer the modern traveler a fascinating glimpse into human history. Elaborate structures, some constructed by societies who had yet to invent the wheel or harness fire offer testament to ... continue reading


X-ray scanner reveals a mother's bizarre and dangerous smuggling attempt Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Airport staff at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, were shocked after they discovered a sleeping infant inside a luggage through their X-ray scanner. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It was later revealed that the two-month old ... continue reading


Why are hundreds of koalas being taken from their homes and killed? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

700 koalas were taken from their homes and killed over a six month period in Australia. Put in secret culls, the authorities claim the heinous act was done to prevent overpopulation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From September 2013 to March 2014, a colony of ... continue reading


Top 3 most disgusting tourist destinations in the world Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever imagined yourself going out of your way just to see a bunch chewed gum stuck on walls? Or have you ever thought of skinny dipping in a pool of sake with a bunch of other people of all ages and size? Each one of us has probably had more than a hundred ... continue reading


BREATHTAKING: Fearless photographer climbs great heights to take amazing photographs (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of All of 20 years of age, death-defying photographer Esty Ilabaca scales buildings and mountains -- without a harness - to take truly breathtaking images on his travels around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All of 20 years of age, death-defying photographer Esty Ilabaca scales buildings and mountains -- without a harness - to take truly breathtaking images on his travels around the world. From Moreton on the Wirral, Merseyside, Ilabaca has parkoured -- a ... continue reading


For the adventurer in you: The top 10 exotic caves from around the world Watch

Image of The beautiful and hidden Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in Belize.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The hidden treasures of the world captivate the adventurous hearts of common people everyday. Caves are unique; no two caves are the same. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Ancient civilizations used caves for places of worship or hiding. These caves were preserved and ... continue reading


Saint Kitts Railway takes visitors on a fascinating historical tour of the West Indies Watch

Image of It was decided that a railroad was most efficient way to transport the sugar from the island's dramatic interior to its capital, Basseterre. Between 1912 and 1926, narrow-gauge railroad tracks were built to meet the demand.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saint Kitts, an island some 18 miles long and five miles wide, its west side bordering the Caribbean Sea and its eastern side facing the Atlantic Ocean, regularly attracts tourists. Greeting these visitors is the Saint Kitts Scenic Railway. Called the "last ... continue reading


Even with natural beauty and historical sites, Zimbabwe rarely tourist destination Watch

Image of In the colonial days when Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, white families used to vacation here. Some of these features remain extant today.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The African nation of Zimbabwe is rich in natural beauty and historical world sites. In spite of this, tourism here is very slow, or at standstill. It wasn't always this way: Many tourists in the past would come to enjoy many prehistoric structures and natural ... continue reading


New luxury cruise ship boasts cabins the size of family homes Watch

Image of The Regent Seven Seas next ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, will feature one of the largest suites to be built on a cruise ship.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Regent Seven Seas Explorer promises to be the "most luxurious" cruise ship ever. Many other cruise lines have made the claim, but the regent Seven Seas Explorer cruise promises luxury suites the size of houses. An average suite will have two bedrooms, a ... continue reading


The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes Watch

Image of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes was founded to aid pilgrims who were traveling to Lourdes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is an area of ground surrounding the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes, France. This ground is owned and administrated by the Roman Catholic Church, and has several functions, including devotional ... continue reading


All Travel News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 1st, 2015 Image

St. Hugh of Grenoble
April 1: Benedictine bishop of Grenoble, France, patron of St. Bruno. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter