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Mysteries of The Duc d'Arpajon Painting

Mysteries of The Duc d'Arpajon Painting

Once upon a time, a very rich and powerful Duke lived in the Château de Sévérac, in the region named Rouergue.

His name was Louis d'Arpajon.

He had a very beautiful painting sitting in the castle's chapel when he was gone at war. The Duke had warred quite a lot indeed, serving his majesty the King of France Louis the 13th, thus was equally glorious.

Although he was famous, rumours were spreading around saying he had his wife, Gloriande de Thémines, murdered...

Jean-Henri Fabre And The City of Insects

Jean-Henri Fabre And The City of Insects

(...) Jean Rostand—a famous French biologist and philosopher (1894-1977)—said of him: "Jean-Henri Fabre is a great scholar who thinks like a philosopher, lives like an artist, feels and expresses himself like a poet." As an example of his impact on Manhood, one has to know that at the dawn of the third millennium he is still taught to young Japanese children. (...)

(Brief But Complicated) History of Aveyron up to The French Revolution

(Brief But Complicated) History of Aveyron up to The French Revolution

Before the Roman conquest, the Rouergue—a tiny bit larger than the actual Aveyron département—was populated by the Rutheni and called their idol Ruth, a sort of Celtic Venus whose cult still existed during the 5th century of our era. It was a powerful nation and the Ruthenians had three major cities: Segodun—meaning "rye mountain" in Celtic—Condatemag—meaning "city of confluence" in Celtic—near Millau and Carentomag—meaning "city of the parents" in Celtic. On these locations were discovered bones, coins, medals, pottery, and other art and craft artifacts confirming the location of these three Gallic cities.

Espalion, The Birthplace of Diving

Espalion, The Birthplace of Diving

What does say the Captain Nemo in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Water, a book written in 1870 by the famous Jules Verne?
(...) "The man is not free. He is connected to the pump sending him air through a rubber hose, a true chain riveting him to the ground." (...) 
When the Captain Nemo is on the deck, he says as well that the way to be free (...) "is to use the Rouquayrol-Denayrouze device." (...) 

The "Statues-Menhir", Their Exact Meaning Still a Mystery

The "Statues-Menhir", Their Exact Meaning Still a Mystery

Scholars, archaeologists, and now the general public have been fascinated for almost 150 years by these standing stones also known as "statues-menhir". The word "menhir" comes from the Middle Breton, a (now French) Celtic language as of 'men' for stone and "hir" for long.

Today, these Rouergue—former name of Aveyron although Rouergue was a little larger than the actual Aveyron—sculptures form one of the largest groups in Europe but mostly are the first monumental statues known in these south west regions of Europe.

A few fundamental questions remain unanswered though.
Questions such as: what are they representing? What do these enigmatic sculptures tell us about these communities? These burning questions have been haunting experts since the initial research made at the turn of the 19th century by Abbot Hermet, the so-called inventor of these standing stones.

The (Monaco) Grimaldi Family is Linked to Aveyron

The (Monaco) Grimaldi Family is Linked to Aveyron

During 148 years--from 1643 to 1791--the Carladez County was then a dominion of the Monaco Princes.

Since 1604, Honoré II de Grimaldi, Prince of Monaco, was reigning on the territory. On September 14, 1641, under the influence of the Cardinal de Richelieu, Honoré II signed the Péronne Treaty with Louis XIII, King of France. Based on the treaty's terms, Monaco was to become a French protectorate, although keeping its independence. However by signing it Monaco, who was protected by Spain, was to lose territories in favour of its former protector, the majority in (the actual) Italy.

The Conques Abbey-Church: Legends and History of Two Treasures

The Conques Abbey-Church: Legends and History of Two Treasures

The A of Charlemagne, a quite poetic naming given to this odd artefact, one of the multiple treasures to be found and admired at the Abbey Sainte-Foy at Conques.

According to the legend, the A of Charlemagne would have represented the first letter of the alphabet. Hence, the Emperor would have given his utmost preference to the abbey of Conques.

The exotic object, dated back to the end of the XIth Century, is still nowadays quite intriguing. What could have been its primary function?

The Burning Mountain

The Burning Mountain

One of the multiple geological curiosities of Aveyron is the "burning mountain" of Cransac. The small town of Cransac is located at the end of the Decazeville coalfield, 9 km from it, in the heartland of a 300-hectare forest of locust trees, Black locusts (Robinia pseudoacacia, the real Latin name being Acacia fabaceae mimosoideae), the largest forest of this type in Europe. To note, donuts made with its flowers are excellent.

The Abbot Raynal, a True Inspiration to The French And American Revolutions

The Abbot Raynal, a True Inspiration to The French And American Revolutions

Guillaume-Thomas Raynal (1713-1796), an Aveyron native, was a precursor of the fight against slavery, a promoter of human rights, but also the prophet of the American Revolution, and the author of a bestseller, "History of the Two Indies", during the so-called  'Enlightenment Century', this book became the bible of the French Revolution and certainly the first writing on globalization.

Pigüé, an Argentinian, Buenos Aires Province, is Strongly Rooted to Aveyron

Pigüé, an Argentinian, Buenos Aires Province, is Strongly Rooted to Aveyron

Pigüé, which means 'gathering place' in Mapuche tongue, is home to a community originally coming from Aveyron. It is located where two chains of hills meet, the Cura Malal to the west and the Bravard to the east. But Pigüé would never exist as a town were it not for Clément Cabanettes, a man born in 1851 in the small village of Ambec, commune of Lassouts near Saint-Côme in Aveyron. Cabanettes, then 33 of age, organized the voluntary exile of forty poverty-stricken farming families (as in "groups of relatives") from the surrounding Espalion, Gabriac, Naucelle (a few kilometres from Baraqueville), Aurelle, and Saint-Geniez d'Olt to name but a few, to South America.

Pierre Soulages, The Painter of Black

Pierre Soulages, The Painter of Black

Pierre Soulages, a French abstract and contemporary artist of international renown. He was born in Rodez in 1919, precisely rue Combarel. He grew up in a vibrant, bustling neighbourhood full of craftspeople and blacksmiths. This is where he learned to appreciate patience and determination in a gesture, artistic skill and know-how, furthermore the satisfaction of working with noble materials and the merits of letting chance take its course.

Loc-Dieu, The Amazing Story

Loc-Dieu, The Amazing Story

This is the oldest Cistercian abbey in Rouergue. At first look it looks like a square of stones laying in the countryside. However there's something magical about Loc-Dieu—Loc-Dieu means 'God's place'. First off, it's sort of a miracle as such an harmony has survived through centuries. We are at Martiel, close-by the village of Elbes, barely ten kilometres away from Villefranche de Rouergue.

Where's The Wild Child of Aveyron Now?

Where's The Wild Child of Aveyron Now?

The year is 1798, and farmers in the south of France, precisely Saint-Sernin sur Rance in Aveyron, on the hunt for a predator, instead find a naked young boy, presumably grown up in the wild without human contact. As the latest sensation, he's paraded before fee-paying gawkers at the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, in Paris, while Dr. Itard—played by François Truffaut himself—debates with a colleague: is the boy a purely natural human, a tabula rasa, or simply an idiot? Itard takes the boy into his own home in an attempt to educate and civilize him.

Emma Calvé, a Belle Époque Aveyron Soprano

Emma Calvé, a Belle Époque Aveyron Soprano

...In the winter of 1893/1894 the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862–1947) executed a life-size portrait of her standing full-length in a green-blue dress, wearing an opera cloak of white and gold with a sable edge, clutching American Beauty roses. It is now lost, but a pastel he made of her in March 1894 has been discovered in a London private collection....

Farrebique and Biquefarre, Two Major Documentary Movies on Aveyron And Rural France

Farrebique and Biquefarre, Two Major Documentary Movies on Aveyron And Rural France

...Farrebique, part of the village of Goutrens, Aveyron, is as well the name of the farm owned by the Rouquier family. The farm working days are shown in the movie, throughout the four seasons in Aveyron, such as the winter nights with the family sitting by the fireplace and the oil lamp, Roch the oldest son kneading the bread and the women following on the process. Of notable interest is the fact the name Goutrens comes from the German term "Goth" meaning "people". For years there has been a dispute between the two villages of Goutrens and Cassagnes-Comtaux whereas the village got the name of Cassagnes-Goutrens. Then in 1917, it became Goutrens...

The Many Hands of Mary’s Maid

The Many Hands of Mary’s Maid

...On the far wall of the north transept of the Basilique Sainte Foy in Conques is one of the finest sculptures in this magnificent pilgrimage church, the triptych of the Annunciation. As those familiar with Christian theophany know, the Annunciation celebrates the appearance of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce that she will conceive and give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. Fittingly, this event is considered the conception of Jesus and celebrated on March 25, nine months prior to his birth...