La Capelle Balaguier Templar Cross - Quercy
La Capelle Balaguier
The presence of dolmens and nearby Grotte de Pradel show that the site was already inhabited during the Copper Age.
However, the village developed from a fortified farmhouse named after the House of Balaguier, a prominent dynasty of the historical Rouergue.
All that is left of their ruined Château Saint-George is a large spiral staircase and superb vaults and their keystones carved with the family's coat of arms.
However, it seems as if the Knights Templar settled in the area, as a village sign post points to La Croix des Templiers - Templars Cross.
This is not surprising though, as when the Templars returned from the Crusades, they settled in the modern day Lot and the Aveyron departments where they founded their commanderies.
The mystery of La Capelle Balaguier Templar cross
La Capelle Balaguier Templar Cross marks the junction of two narrow rural roads.
However, La Capelle Balaguier Templar Cross originally stood at a place called Granges in Lespinassière in the neighbouring department of Tarn-et-Garonne.
It originally marked the boundaries of the Templar Commanderie at La Capelle-Livron.
This explains why it is engraved with the La Capelle-Livron's coat of arms.
At first sight, there is nothing unusual about this lone Cross, but the characters carved on it are a true intrigue!
The top one represents Christ Crucified.
However, who is the second character marked with the Templar Cross?
Christ risen? A Templar? Adam, fallen from grace and covered by a cross rather than a fig leaf? The stonemason who carved the cross?
The mystery doesn't stop there!
Indeed, two dates were chiseled at the base of the Cross: 1711 and 1881.
The latter date corresponds to the year it was moved to its current location.
But what about 1711?
Department of Aveyron
Coordinates: Lat 44.436619 - Long 1.935935