- Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne -

St-Antonin-Noble-Val 1

LINKS to other pages in the Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Home Page
2 : Introduction (Hotels etc.)
3 : Albi
4 : Najac
5 : Cordes Sur Ciel
6 : Bruniquel
7 : St Antonin Noble Val
8 : Gaillac Vineyard
9 : Castres
10 : Carcassonne
11 : St Cirq Lapopie
12 : Rocamadour
13 : Sarlat
14 : La Roque Gageac
15 : Cahors
16 : Guest Book:


StAntonin15.jpg - 99636 Bytes
ST-ANTONIN-NOBLE-VAL. The town of St Antonin, originally known as Condate and later as Noble-Val, is situated on the western edge of the Rouerge province.

Legend has it that the abbey of Saint-Antonin was founded in the ninth century in honour of the saint who brought Christianity to the province.

The saint however later decided to go to convert Pamiers, his home town in the Pyrenees, but local disaffection with the message he preached is said to have brought about his beheading and his body being thrown into the river Ariège.

StAntonin14.jpg - 100867 Bytes

Angels then descended from Heaven, the story continues, and gathered up the pieces of his body and placed them in a boat which, miraculously, floated downstream into the Garonne and on to where the Tarn flows into it.

The body travelled up the Tarn to its confluence with the Aveyron and then through the Vallis Nobilis of the Aveyron Gorges to the confluence of the little Bonnette river at a point where the ancient lands and bishroprics of Rouergue, the Albigeois, and Quercy meet. There the corpse was retrieved by Festus, the Count of Noble-Val, who placed the relics into a reliquary-shrine.

StAntonin8.jpg - 72897 Bytes
The Benedictines started rebuilding the early ninth-century abbey in the 11th century, and it was finished around 1150. By the end of the 12th century the abbey passed into the control of Augustinian Canons Regular. It must have been a very fine building judging by the quality of the stone carving of its surviving fragments.

StAntonin7.jpg - 80930 Bytes

The town was taken by Simon de Montfort in 1212 during the "Albigensian Crusade"

In 1227 St Louis XI occupied Saint-Antonin. The town was later besieged and taken by the English who, in the 14th century, built a barracks there.

The town suffered considerable damage in the Wars of Religion in the late 16th and again in the early 17th century. Being in former Cathar territory the town tended towards Protestantism and the collegiate church and saintly relics were destroyed by anti-Catholic mobs between 1614 and 1622.

After the restoration of Catholicism corbels were restored on many of the houses in the town. It was at that time Louis XIV re-named the town Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and financed some important improvements.

StAntonin6.jpg - 80159 Bytes

St-Antonin-Noble-Val is one of the oldest bastide towns in the region. Master tanners and furriers made the town prosperous during the 13th century and its tradition of craft industries is still firmly established there.

St-Antonin-Noble-Val also has very large outdoor Sunday market.
(Above and Left)

The screen adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ book, ‘Charlotte Gray’, starring Cate Blanchett was filmed in St-Antonin-Noble-Val. The award winning film was released in 2002.

StAntonin5a.jpg - 99091 Bytes

The Town Hall, built in 1125, is the oldest in France; now a museum, it displays a remarkable collection of local prehistoric artifacts. It was the 'Maison des Consuls' (Council House) from 1312 to 1791.  (Right and Below)

StAntonin4aa.jpg - 86966 Bytes

The Town Hall tower as seen from the market square  (Left and Below)

StAntonin4.jpg - 81056 Bytes

The visit to St Antonin-Noble-Val continues on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).

buttongo.jpg - 7212 Bytes
buttonnext.jpg - 5586 Bytes