Spiritual journeyPilgrimage
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©Copyright Joel Damase

Itinerary of Santiago de Compostela

Walking towards Saint Jacques de Compostelle by taking the voie de Vezelay in Creuse? Spiritual journey for pilgrims or leisure for visitors on vacation in our department; it is each time to discover villages with preserved heritage and magnificent landscapes! In December 1998, the Vézelay Way was classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, as part of the roads to Santiago de Compostela in France; so it’s a very beautiful route that awaits you!

The “route de Vézelay”in Creuse, according to the “Guide du Pèlerin” of the 12th century, entered our department at Crozant. The pilgrims then joined La Souterraine, the Grand-Bourg and Bénévent l’Abbaye. A secondary route from Bénévent l’Abbaye went to Bourganeuf. In Creuse, many traces of the pilgrims’ history can be discovered on these routes.

1st stage: Crozant – La Souterraine

Taking the Way of Saint James in Creuse will allow you to discover a great palette of landscapes! Start from Crozant on the banks of the Creuse River, nicknamed the Valley of the Painters because the impressionists came to set their easels here, this area offers incredible colors.

Continue south to La Souterraine , long marked by the Chemin de Saint Jacques, medieval town where scallop shells mark your route to the Porte St Jean and the Church of Our Lady. To see more precisely:

  • very ancient carved tombs of pilgrims who died in La Souterraine, in the cemetery,
  • a white stone on the clocher of the Church which served as a landmark,
  • a vitrail of the Church representing Saint Jacques (the cantonal parish is named after this holy man).

2nd stage: La Souterraine – Bénévent l’Abbaye

The continuation of the path will take you to Bénévent-l’Abbaye where you can admire the Abbey church built in the 12th century representative of the “Limousin Romanesque”. It contains 44 capitals and, all around, you can see a large number of carved modillions. Images, proportions and orientations have long made it a building with essentially symbolic use.

Limousin, land of the saints, saw the development, during the Middle Ages, of pilgrimages and veneration of the relics that the abbeys and priories of the monks builders sheltered. The Limousin was marked, especially in the 12th century, by the great development of the pilgrimage towards Santiago de Compostela. It gave its name to the second of the four roads that crossed France to form in Spain only one path: the ‘Camino Francès’. This ‘Limousin Road’ is today a European cultural route: official route of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela coming from Vézelay. Through the region, other paths were available to pilgrims to join the official routes:the route of Bruges and the road of the Limousin Mountain. Along these routes you will discover the architectural and artistic heritage of Limousin.

More info

On the Way of Saint James…

The Association “La Voie de Rocamadour en Limousin et Haut Quercy”, created in 2009, aims to reopen the Old Way of Saint James of Compostela which, starting from Bénévent-l’Abbaye, allowed pilgrims to pass through the Millevaches plateau, then Corrèze, before reaching Rocamadour, a high place of pilgrimage.

Over 270 km, you will cross 2 Regions (Limousin and Midi-Pyrénées), 4 Departments (Creuse, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Lot) and 2 Regional Natural Parks: that of Millevaches and that of Causses du Quercy.

Information:

Tourist Office La Souterraine – 0555631006
Tourist Office Bénévent l’Abbaye – 0555626835
Association des Amis de St Jacques de Compostelle Limousin-Périgord – 0553507321
Association “Un Chemin de St Jacques: Bénévent – Eymoutiers – Tulle – Collonges la Rouge – Rocamadour” – 0676822305
Blog: www.un-chemin-de-st-jacques.net