|Intercommunality||Pays de Sommières|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Michel Febrer|
|• Land1||8.64 km2 (3.34 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||30091 / 30111|
|Elevation||45–145 m (148–476 ft)
(avg. 75 m or 246 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Wars of Religion
Le Desert. In 1681, the Catholic King Louis XIV, used his troops to re-convert Protestants. On 30 June 1685, being Protestant became illegal in Nîmes. The religion moved underground and the paid pastor was replaced by the lay prophet.
La Guerre des Camisards (1702–1711)
Congénies was obliged to provision the troops. On 17 December 1703, Jean Cavalier, a Camisard leader torched the Catholic Church. He was a prophet and took his instructions from God. Thus we see the foundation of a local religious tradition that was principled, rebellious and relied on an ínner spirit, the Inspiré. In 1715, Jean Bénezet of Calvisson was exiled to Holland, and then to London. His son, Antoine, made it to Philadelphia. Both joined the Society of Friends.
The Meeting house and cemetery was built on land purchased from Georges Majolier in 1822. It remained in the ownership of the Societes des Amis, until 1907, when the group was too small to maintain it. This was caused by young men emigrating as they could not accept military service, and the young women marrying out of the Society. The Meeting House served as a hospital in the First World War, and was owned in recent years by two English Quaker families and was sold back to the French Friends in 2003. The building has been gutted and is being rebuilt with the interior in the modern style. The exterior is being maintained, and the future of the cemetery is safe.
Pronunciation and spelling
Congénies is today written with an accent, on the first 'e', but the elderly have never said it this way. When the station which is still extant, was built it was written as Congeniès reflecting the way the elderly still pronounce it. Postcards from between the wars show it spelled as Congéniès. This shows how the original Languedoc French has been replaced by a more standardised Northern French.
The gothic catholic church ( XIIème-XVIIème ) with the " Nogaret bell" The Protestant temple was built between 1817–1818, the menhir of Peyra Plantada ( 2500 BC ) is considerably older and there are many capitelles in the garrigues.
- Christine Majolier- b. 1805 Congénies, Joined Society of Friends in 1828, died 19 June 1879. Tireless Quaker activist, she often acted as interpreter to other well known Quakers visiting France. As a friend of Mme Rollande, governess to Queen Victoria's children, Christine was often visited by them and invited to meet the Queen. Naturally they spoke French, and in the Quaker manner, Christine wore simple dress addressed her using the tu form, to which the queen took no offence.
- Robert Charleton, visited in the 1821/2 when a child.
- Elizabeth Fry, the prison reformer, visited in 1839 while on a campaigning visit to Nîmes. She celebrated her 60th birthday in the village.
- Henry Newman, a fine watercolourist and from a Quaker family in Leominster, visited Congénies in 1864, and produced an album of watercolours which remain in private hands.
Congénies celebrates its Languedoc heritage with the traditional bull running. Over three days each year there are Abrivados and Bandidos, and bandido de nuit, this occurs over the weekend of the 14th July.
- Chronique de la vie Quaker française 1750-1938, van Etten, pub SOCIÉTÉ RELIGIEUSE DES AMIS (QUAKERS)12, rue Guy de la Brosse, PARIS (Ve) 1938
- "La Vaunage Hier et Aujourd'hui" édité par l'association Vaunage Vivante. Alain Pierrugues et Édouard Ravon 2007
- Memoir of Robert Charleton , Compiled Chiefly from his Letters. Edited by his sister in law Anna F. Fox. published Samuel Harris and Co London 1876. Facsimile reprint Kessinger Publishing 2007, ISBN 1-4326-8924-X
- Van Etten Book: Congénies et sa vie quaker
- Congénies quaker's house
- A map of Congénies and details of neighbouring communes.
- Association for history of Congénies
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