Merovingian necropolis

St Pierre Toirac Church - Merovingian necropolis
Merovingian necropolis

St Pierre Toirac Church is located in a tiny fortified village, some 15kms south-west of Figeac.

Despite its size, the village is a true architectural treasure.

It is indeed still protected by its original enclosure and is accessed by a beautifully restored gate.

Tradition has it that a priory and its chapel were built in 889 on land given by the Bishop of Rodez to the monastery of Saint-Sauveur in Figeac.

Archaeological research conducted in 2008 also uncovered a Merovingian necropolis.

A dozen of stone sarcophagi are now exposed in situ outside, in the chapel former cemetery.

St Pierre Toirac Church’s architecture

St Pierre Toirac Church - Vestige of Romanesque tympanum
Vestige of Romanesque tympanum

St Pierre Toirac Church replaces this original chapel.

It was built in the late 12th century or early 13th century and was fortified during the 14th and 17th centuries.

St Pierre Toirac Church is therefore considered one of the finest examples of mixed architecture -Military, Romanesque and Gothic.

The fortified church looks like an austere fortress.

The only decorative exterior feature is a section of the original Romanesque tympanum which was affixed next to the 17th century Neo-classical portal.

St Pierre Toirac Church

It represents Samson slaying the lion with an angel on his right.

The interior, however, is in complete contrast and boasts a wealth of Romanesque sculpture.

The beautiful capitals are decorated with interlacing patterns, angels, people, plants and flowers.

These features are indeed a perfect illustration of Romanesque art at its best.

They enhance the Gothic ribbed vaults and the beautiful stained glass windows.

St Pierre Toirac Church was listed Historical Monument in 1903.

It is really worth the detour!

Lot department – Lot Valley – D662
Coordinates: Lat 44.526741 – Long 1.954275

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