The Liadou of Conques

During the Wars of Religion, on October 9, 1568 very precisely, the Protestants introduced themselves into Conques and carried out “ great plundering, burning and ransacking
". The nerve center of the abbey was particularly targeted: the convent buildings and the chapter house were partly destroyed, the cloister fountain damaged, the abbey church set on fire, causing in particular the destruction of the original framework and roofing.

For a time, the upper surface of the vault was thus left uncovered, before it was considered, probably around the middle of the 17th century, to repair the building, with the means at hand...

Mixed with mortar, a simple layer of earth, itself covered by slate, ensured as best it could, until the French Revolution, a very mediocre waterproofing. It was not until the first restoration work on the monument, at the end of the 1830s, under the responsibility of the departmental architect Etienne Boissonade, that we thought of completely redoing the framework and the covering.

Carpentry work dependent on hostile natural conditions

In anticipation of this important work, a report dated 1838 and addressed to the Minister of the Interior indicates that " the woods are dear to Conques, because the surroundings are devoid of them, that they have to be looked for quite far away and that the paths to get there are very bad .” And the initiative to obtain it came from the mayor of Conques, Christian Alary. “ The latter considered it useful to buy from the forests of neighboring communes and to have the structural timbers necessary for the reconstruction of the attic transported to Conques […] The position of the town of Conques, on the side of a mountain bristling with rocks, the poor condition and, so to speak, the lack of paths to get there, forced the Mayor of this town to take advantage of the good season to obtain the above-mentioned materials. If for this supply he had waited for the authorization requested for the organization of a management, the cattle would have been lacking for the transport of the wood and it would have been necessary to wait until the end of autumn, after the harvest season, it is that is to say the month of November, a time when rain or snow made the roads impassable, which would have forced the execution of urgent works to be postponed until the spring of 1839, and consequently to be postponed by a year. , inherent to the solidity of the monument. »

And from this framework was born Le Liadou de Conques...

We are therefore perfectly informed about the origin of the wood which was used, in the first place, to create the structural elements of the Conques abbey church, which therefore remained in place for almost two centuries (1839-2023)...

Before this same oak wood is subsequently reused to make the handles of the Le Liadou knife!

Indeed, given the urgency of undertaking major repair work on the roof of the Romanesque building, a first phase of work – choir, ambulatory and transept arm – is currently being carried out (2023-2024 ), under the responsibility of the Regional Conservation of Historic Monuments and the heritage architect Agathe de Maupeou (M+0 Architectes Du Patrimoine).

Like the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, whose framework was completely destroyed during the 2019 fire, the Conques abbey church is also gradually finding its new “forest”!