This chapel of the village of Saint-Urcisse stands at the crossing of two very busy roads, the Clermontoise, running from the Massif Central to the Garonne valley, and the Ténarèze, coming from the Pyrenees, a cattle road, or « draille ». These routes are also travelled by St James of Compostella pilgrims.
Come and immerse yourself in the 3D virtual visit of the church. An unforgettable experience! Launch the visit by clicking on the video Matterport.
The creation of this virtual tour was 100% financed by the Lot-et-Garonne 2022 Citizen’s Participatory Budget.
Engraved in the stone of the church entrance are these words, referring to the plague epidemic of 1631: “Mater Dei, refugium pestilentium, ora pro nobis Deum” (Mother of God, refuge of plague victims, pray to God for us).
The church possesses an ancient “black Virgin”, who was the object of a pilgrimage and was invoked to cure deafness.
St Luke was the first to evoke a dark-skinned Virgin Mary. Several such representations date from the 12th century: wooden statues, often in colourful clothing, small in size, with black hands and face, perhaps blackened by smoke from candles, or by being rubbed with oil (ritually or for maintenance).
The statue was stolen, then restored to Our Lady of Aureillac; this reinforced the legend that black virgins are stubborn statues that always return to where they were found!
This chapel, built of limestone of the Serres, has a semi-circular choir, a semi-domed vault and lovely restrained cornice. The nave’s barrel vault (perhaps once supporting a belfry or tower) has four buttresses in the Romanesque style.