||This article is incomplete. (June 2011)|
|• Land1||106.12 km2 (40.97 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||17/km2 (45/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||82155 / 82140|
|Elevation||110–395 m (361–1,296 ft)
(avg. 300 m or 980 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.
Anciently known by its Celtic name of Condate (confluence), legend recounts that the abbey of Saint-Antonin (Occitan: Sant Antonin) was founded in the 9th century in honour of the saint who brought Christianity to the province of Rouergue, on the western edge of which the town now stands. Successful in this, he decided to convert Pamiers, his hometown in the Pyrenees. But resistance there resulted in his beheading, following which his body was thrown into the Ariège River.
Legend recounts that angels then descended from Heaven to collect the pieces and place them in a boat which, miraculously, floated downstream into the Garonne and on to where the Tarn flows into it; then up the Tarn to its confluence with the Aveyron and up through the Vallis Nobilis of the Aveyron Gorges to the confluence of the little Bonnette river at a point where the ancient lands and bishroprics of Rouergue, the Albigeois, and Quercy meet. There the corpse was retrieved and reassembled by Festus, the Count of Noble-Val, who placed the relics in a reliquary-shrine, now lost.
The Benedictines started rebuilding the abbey in the 11th century, and it was finished around 1150 or later. By the end of the 12th century it passed into the control of Augustinian Canons Regular. It must have been a very fine and prestigious building, perhaps - to judge from the quality of the carving and the stone of the surviving fragments - one to mention in the same breath as Moissac to the south of the same département. The old town hall (even as controversially restored by Viollet-le-Duc) is also of very high quality - as shown by this exquisite carving of Adam, Eve, the Serpent and the Tree of Knowledge.
The troubadour Raimon Jordan was the viscount of Saint-Antonin in the late twelfth century, on the eve of the Albigensian Crusade. The town, however, was taken by Simon de Montfort in 1212 during the Crusade. The Albigensian castle of Penne a few kilometres downstream was burned by de Montfort and survives now only as a romantic ruin overlooking the river Aveyron. In 1227 St Louis occupied Saint-Antonin which at this point enjoyed great wealth. The town was besieged and taken by the English in the 14th century, and subsequently suffered considerable damage in the Wars of Religion in the late 16th and again in the early 17th century (former Cathar lands tending towards a Protestantism which survives to this day, for there is a Protestant 'temple' in Saint-Antonin), when the collegiate church and the saintly relics were destroyed by anti-Catholic mobs. It was presumably after the restoration of Catholicism in the town that the corbels were placed on houses without risk of destruction. It was at this time that Louis XIV renamed the town Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and financed important improvements.
More recently it has been used as a location for the market scenes in the film '100 Foot Journey' Starring Dame Helen Mirren.
- "Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’". Variety.
- p. 42-48, Merton, Thomas (1948) 'The Seven Storey Mountain', Harcourt inc., Florida, USA
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val.|
- Places of interest, excursions and activities
- Romanesque and medieval sculpture of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
- Megaliths around Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and in the surrounding area