The Bell-Tower Dungeon of Thoard

The Bell-Tower Dungeon of Thoard

This tower was most likely a dungeon in the 12th or 13th century. The Parish Church of Notre-Dame de Bethléem  (Our Lady of Bethelem) and the Church of Saint-Blaise (Saint Blaze) is attached to it. The low, semi-circular quire may also date back to the 13th century. The nave, in the form of an irregular rectangle, with a ceiling, is more recent. 

The wall of the dungeon, which is very thick, was specifically constructed in a way so as to allow communication between the two buildings.

Major restoration work on the bell-tower took place at the beginning of the 21st century with the construction of an external staircase allowing direct access.

The tradition of celebrating the Feast of Saint Blaise (Saint Blaze) is still very much alive in Thoard: four days of festivities in February ending with a communal celebratory meal and the symbolic ceremonial burial of Saint Blaise. A local person, hidden under a blanket, is taken around the village in a cart. A "priest" (a pretend-priest, an actor) then eulogises the deceased person, who then stands up from his cart in astonishment. And the festive procession starts again.



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L’UNESCO Géoparc de Haute-Provence est un service de Provence Alpes Agglomération,
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