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Aveyron Facts

- Surface area:
- Elevation:
  144 m (472 ft.) to
   1,463 m (4799 ft.)
- Land use:
  Farming, 59%
   Forest, 30%
- Population:
  roughly 280,000
- Population density:
  Aveyron 31/km2
   France: 112/km2
- The highest density of
   paved roads in all of
  66,600 kms!!


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Conques abbey-church prides itself on sheltering under its vaults, a unique treasure of Romanesque sculpture and artefacts. Among these are the tympanum of the Last Judgment and figurative capitals, all magnified by Pierre Soulages’ stained glass windows. The gilded or plated reliquaries of the Treasure, embellished with ancient enamels, cameos, intaglios and precious stones are exquisite examples of medieval craftsmanship. The precious treasure, assembled and preserved through the ages, nestles around the monastery within an environment of great beauty that is today recognized in the selective list of "Les plus beaux villages de France".

Let yourself be bewitched by the eternal charms of Conques. A stop on the road to Le Puy, the most celebrated of the routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela, Conques takes you on a journey to the Middle Ages' great builders time.

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To the north of Aveyron, the escarpments of the high Lot valley hide a village that was once a Christianity "mecca". Conques is tucked away in a natural circle with lush vegetation. A major stop since the 12th century, Conques has been awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition for two monuments; the Sainte-Foy abbey church, famous for its tympan of the Last Judgement, and the pilgrim's bridge that crosses the Dourdou river. These two monuments were included in 1993, as part of the World Heritage Sites (Route to Santiago de Compostela through France).

Looking like the original from the year 1000, Conques lives in a harmony of grey-blue slate, limestone and red sandstone, wisteria, and wooden-sided façades. An authentic décor, perfect to appreciate the aura of a small village with an exceptional destiny.

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Rising up from the faith, minds and hands of monks during the 10th -12th centuries, Conques is a classic example of roman art, and was a major staging post on the Saint-Jacques pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella, in Spain. Its importance was largely due to the remains of Sainte-Foy, brought here from Agen in 866, a classic example of Roman art. The abbey, with its famous final judgement tympanum, and its cloisters, boasts two of the most beautiful masterpieces of medieval, ornamental sculpture.

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For over 12 centuries, Conques has been able to protect a fabulous treasure of works in gold; its centrepiece being the reliquary statue of Sainte-Foy, without any doubt a masterpiece unique in the west. With its narrow streets and old half-timbered houses tiled in lauzes, the village of Conques retains its millennial purity.

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