From Conques to Toulouse
As a 13th century bastide town and a medieval staging post located between medieval Languedoc and Rouergue, Cordes has seen many travellers, including pilgrims.
Most of them followed the route between Sainte-Foy of Conques and the Basilica of Saint-Sernin of Toulouse, both proud owners of precious relics.
In the 16th century, the famous traveller Thomas Platter wrote of his visit to Cordes:
« It is said to be the strongest place of all the Albigenses, built on a high hill overlooking the countryside and controlling the route between Villefranche and Toulouse. The streets are paved with large paving stones as in Barcelona. »
A pilgrim’s heritage
In Cordes, the presence of pilgrims and devotion to the Apostle James was already underway in the early 14th century, as recorded in the city archives and demonstrated by the shells on the pediment of the houses.
From 1320, the Brotherhood of Saint James, maintained a hospital (which has now disappeared), which was adjacent to a chapel, La Capelette Saint-Jacques.
This chapel (on the corner of the Grand’Rue de l’Horloge and the Rue Saint-Louis) underwent restoration in the 16th century.
The chapel features a ribbed vaulted ceiling and houses in a niche on the outside, a statue of the Virgin Mary. It was sculpted by the figurative painter Yves Brayer, who in the 1970s, restored the chapel. He decorated it with a fresco depicting the pilgrimage to Compostela and also prepared the cartoon for the stained glass window figure of Saint-Jacques.
For more informations, please visit the following links (french websites):
www.chemins-compostelle.com : Association of Interregional Cooperation (ACIR)
www.verscompostelle.fr : On the way from Conques to Toulouse and from Conques to Moissac