The Road of Limoges to Santiago de Compostela
The history, legends, development and infrastructure of the stations along the French Limoges Road or Via Lemivocensis through Vézelay, Bourges, Limoges and Périgeux to the shrine of Saint James at Compostela
The Road of Limoges passed through Burgundy and the centre of France. Its fountainhead was the great basilica Vézelay.
On a lonely hilltop in Burgundy stands one of the most hallowed sites of the medieval world, the shrine of Mary Magdalene at Vézelay.
Possession of the relics of Mary Magdalene enabled the abbey of Vézelay in Burgundy to become one of the most important pilgrimage centres in the whole of Europe.
Fifty miles from Vézelay pilgrims reached the crossing of the mighty Loire river. Visible on the far shore stood the immense church and surrounding complex of the priory of Notre-Dame de la Charité-sur-Loire.
The shrine of Saint Front at Périgeux was a major station of the pilgrimage road to Compostela.
Limoges was an inevitable point of passage. One of the abiding mysteries of the Pilgrim’s Guide is the absence of any mention of its patron Saint Martial.
Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat was home to the shrine of one of the Compostelan pilgrimage’s most popular saints
On the way between La Souterraine and Saint-Léonard, pilgrims could venerate a relic of the Apostle Bartholomew at the Augustinian priory of Bénévent l’Abbaye
As pilgrims reached the Limousin region they arrived at the town of La Souterraine, an outpost of the abbey of Saint Martial of Limoges.
The town of Gargilesse was situated at the junction of the Creuse and Gargilesse rivers. A Cluniac priory which belonged to the abbey of Déols received pilgrims.
An alternative route from Vézelay to Limoges passed through the city of Nevers at the crossing of the Loire River.
There were two routes in particular that pilgrims took to journey from Vézelay to Limoges. One passed through Nevers and the other went via La Charité-sur-Loire and Bourges.
Pilgrims reached the crossing of the river Arnon. On the other side they were cared for by the Benedictine monks of the priory of Saint Michel in the small hamlet of Charost.
Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre is a copy of the church built by Constantine on the site of Christ’s burial
Thirty miles from Vézelay pilgrims reached the Cluniac priory of Saint Révérien.
Pilgrims reached the major Cluniac centre of Déols where the massive church, one of the largest in western Christendom stood above the crypt which housed the magnificent sarcophagus of Saint Lusorius, carved in the finest Italian marble by the craftsmen of Arles.