Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus


Useful Information

photography
Engraving 1830, Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus, France. Public Domain.
Location: Saint Paul.
Road D7 north, park at parking Belvedere (no 2). 15 minutes walk.
(42.837942, 2.481138)
Open: Easter to mid-NOV daily 12-18:30.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Ermitage Saint-Antoine de Galamus, 66220 Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet, Tel: +33-468-59-24-45.
Mairie de Cubières sur Cinoble, Place Bélibaste, 11190 Cubières sur Cinoble, Tel : +33-982-28-20-51. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1395 first buildings erected.
1782 chapel erected following the Miracle of Suette.
1910 chapel converted into a church by the Curé of St Paul.
1930 hermitage abandoned.

Description

photography
Historic postcard, Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus, France. Public Domain.
photography
Historic postcard, Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus, France. Public Domain.
photography
Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus, France. Public Domain.
photography
Historic postcard, la grotte, Ermitage Saint Antoine De Galamus, France. Public Domain.

The Ermitage Saint-Antoine de Galamus (Hermitage Saint Antoine of Galamus) originated from the 14th century, when hermits came to live isolated in the natural caves of the gorge. There are legends that the place was frequented by hermits since the 7th century. But the oldest buildings were erected in 1395. Since the 19th century the place seems to be an "official" hermitage. The place was maintained by a single hermit, who constructed buildings and maintained them. Several hermits followed one another until around 1930, when the hermitage was abandoned.

In one of the caves a natural basin collects some of the runoff water, which was used as drinking water by the hermits. The hermit Pierre Verdier is buried on the site. He dug his grave himself and wished to remain eternally in this place.

The chapel of the hermitage was built in 1782, after the Miracle of Suette. The nearby village of Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet was plagued by an epidemic of Suette, the sweating sickness. This ancient infectious epidemic disease is characterized by a fever, profusely sweating and high mortality. It is unknown today, it was last recorded in the early 20th century. But when many people became sick in Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet, they asked for help in church. The village was saved by Saint-Antoine, the patron saint of the hermitage, and in gratitude, the citizens built this chapel in honour of the saint.

The hermitage is reached on a trail from the parking lot Belvedere at the road. There are numerous staircases and plateaus which allow a view into the gorge. The walk takes about 30 minutes. It is possible to visit the chapel and the other caves, the cells of the hermits. There is another parking lot named Eremitage (no 3) which is actually above the hermitage. You can't see the hermitage from this place, because it is in the cliff below. But there is a steep tunnel with a staircase leading down to the hermitage. This access ist much shorter, but does not offer any views.

The location in the gorge make access a little tricky. Please check the page GorgeGorge de Galamus for more information how to access the gorge.