During the August holidays, we were in Canillo (Andorra), and we decided to go one day to visit this Abbey which is undoubtedly one of the finest in France, in a Romanesque style. We left early in the day. even though its only 238kms away. The first 100km to get to Foix are pretty dire and hard, which we already knew from previous experience, it usually takes an average of two hours or maybe more. From Foix to Toulouse and from here to Moissac is all motorway. The abbey was built by a Benedictine monk in the 7th century, and was incorporated into the Cluny order in 1047. The South Portico is a real gem, the cloister with its 116 columns and capitals anthology and Romanesque figures inside. It is a must for lovers of Romanesque art.
One of the jewels of French Romanesque sculpture is the south gate of the abbey in Moissac. The magnificent west door frames are unique in European Romanesque sculpture. They have a scalloped profile (possibly due to Arab influence) and the attached semi shafts to the frames and mullions adopt this wavy line, as if they have been formed by squeezing them from a giant tube of toothpaste. Do not miss the twisted prophet on the side frame which is perfectly adapted to its precarious support, it enjoys the freedom of crossing its legs in a dance movement with its head back inside the temple while it displays the scroll. This is nothing within the normal static Romanesque sculpture.