Church of Montlaur

Large Gothic-style church

30 m long, 11 m wide and 13 m high.

The current church dates from the fourteenth century (the old bell is engraved with the year 1399). But a primary church already existed in the twelfth century: 13 churches were present in the Mattes country; the construction of the fortress of Montlaur (in the twelfth century) profited the church by attracting the population of the valley.

The church suffered from the wars and the troubles which broke out in the region. Firstly built without a chapel, it was shorter; the low and narrow sacristy was located next to the belfry. In 1632 struggles between the troops of the Duke of Montmorency (Governor of the Languedoc) and of King Louis XIII caused the destruction of the belfry and the sacristy. A donation from the king allowed the reconstruction of the belfry (completed in 1878) and of a new sacristy on the right of the choir. Its keystone is engraved 1634.

At the time, thanks to the generosity of wealthy families, two chapels were built: to the left of the nave, Chapel Notre Dame of the Rosary and to the right of the nave, Chapel Saint-Michael. In the nineteenth century (around 1860-75) Chapel Saint-Joseph (on the left) and Chapel Notre Dame (on the right) were built. Chapel Notre Dame of the Rosary would become Chapel Saint-Roch then Chapel of the Sacred Heart. The church was restored in 1876 when a stand and a pulpit (now suppressed) were added and the vault raised.

A squared cemetery used to surround the church; it was transferred to the edge of the village in 1854 following a cholera epidemic.

The church is under the protection of Saint-Eulalia of Merida whose cult was imported by a Visigoth woman returning from Spain. Numerous persons have been buried there.

Old Church of Montlaur

Services

Montlaur belongs to the parish of the Trinity of the Alaric (group of 26 churches). Religious services, days and opening times during summertime for visits or meditation are posted on the external board next to the church side entrance. Ms Monique Rigal and Ms Claire Taudou will be your guides.

Church of Montlaur