Last week, when we stayed in Cahors, we took a day and drove to the small town of Moissac. Moissac is a nice town with one beautiful “must-see:” the cloisters of an old monastery. I’m finally getting around to posting some pictures and writings about our day in Moissac.
I don’t know exactly why we’re drawn to cloisters, but we are, indeed. There is something beautiful and peaceful and historic and spiritual about them. When we read that Moissac has what are said to be the most beautiful Romanesque cloisters anywhere, and saw that it was about an hour south of Cahors, off we went. We were not disappointed; here are the cloisters of Moissac.
The capitols of the seventy-six columns alone are worth the trip. Each is unique and each is exquisitely carved. Half are Biblical scenes, half are abstract designs.
We spent hours in the cloisters. Rooms off them offered exhibitions about the monastery and monastic life, including a large display on the illuminated manuscripts done by monks here over the years.
Cloisters served several purposes. They were simply means of getting from one part of the monastery to another; glorious hallways, so to speak. And they were used by the monks for “walking prayers.” Monks spent at least eight hours a day praying, and they could do some of that as they walked around the cloisters. I think that would have been my preferred route: I don’t know how I could tire of this beautiful place.
And, of course, in the middle of serious cloister-appreciation, we had to stop for lunch, across the place from the cathedral to which the monastery and cloisters are attached.
Then it was back into the cloisters for one last long sit…
We’ve seen a lot of cloisters in our day – we always take time to visit one nearby – and the cloisters of Moissac rank right at the top of our list.