Visiting L 49 27

This visit already happened in 2016 but I put it in my list as it was special enough that it “counts”.

Doing it slightly differently

Think about this: you want to have a village and you see a river which is typically a good idea for a village to be located at. But there is not much space here, just gorge with a very steep cliff. And your next though would be… potentially not “I build it right here”. Welcome to Rocamadour, where some people in former times thought differently.

View from high above straight down to the churches and the village

This village has three levels: at the bottom there are the medieval houses, in the middle we find seven houses of prayer and on the top level a castle overlooks the scenery. As Wikipedia says this reflects the three orders of society at that time: “the knights above, linked to religious clerics in the middle and the lay workers down near the river.”

View from the other side, show the three different layers

Caves and paintings

Several legends supported the pilgrimage to Rocamadour in medieval ages. You can read all about it in Wikipedia. What I liked even more during my visit was the way they build those churches onto the walls and into caves everywhere along this cliff and how these carry their history as a fading veil.

Crypt Saint-Amadour
I think this is Anthony of Padua (it says “S Antonio Doctor Evangelicus” at the bottom)
Frescos dating from the 12th century showing annunciation and visitation of St. Mary at the chapel St. Michel
A skeleton dance on the outside wall of Basilica of St-Sauveur

Such a different way compared to typical churches. When you see it you feel a special kind of intensity that is hard to describe. Did you ever had this? This lack of words for what you see?

The headline of this chapter was “caves and painting”. Little did I know that the next two days would take me even further back in history and leave me deeply amazed.

Mother with child

Sometimes things link you back to your home even when you are somewhere else. The pilgrimage in Rocamadour includes a statue of the Black Madonna.

statue of a black madonna with a child behind glass in the church

Legends say this statue was carved by Saint Amadour. In Passau, where I live, we also have a pilgrimage including a votive picture of Mary with Jesus as a baby.

2 burning candles in the curch

My grandmother used to light a candle when she was traveling and I am continuing this tradition. A candle for the loved ones who are already gone.


  1. Why have you overlooked the Black Madonna of Rocamadour as the main attraction at this pilgrimage site?

    1. You are right. The Black Madonna is important for the site and the pilgrimage as such. It was just not something that was this unique for me the moment I visited. However, as it in fact somehow links back to the city where I live plus I actually had a silent moment there lighting a candle I have added it. Thanks for pointing it out!

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