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Black Madonnas in southern France

I'm wondering if anyone know the whereabouts of Black Madonnas in the Provence region? Also, are there any prehistoric caves in that part of the country ?

Posted by
7728 posts

There is one in the crypt of St. Victor in Marseille. I can't think of any others in Provence; most that I know are in the Auvergne. I can't think of any caves but there are thousands of petroglyphs on rocks in the Vallee des Merveilles behind Nice in the Mercantour National Park. You are allowed access to the petroglyphs only on a guided tour, which are offered in small groups in a four-wheel drive.

Posted by
9110 posts

Grotte la Cocalière, Grotte du Lazaret, Grotte de la Baume Bonne.

The Verdon prehistory museum is excellent but doesn't measure up to Les Eyzies.

Stonepages.com and the megalithic portal might be interesting for other prehistory sites.

Black Madonna ......Aix in the cathedral ? Maybe?.?? There's one in Arles.

Posted by
2 posts

This is very helpful. Since we only have a week in the south of France, after reading all the lists about Rocamadour, I am thinking that we should stay closer to Nice instead of driving hours and hours on tiny mountain roads. Is there a Black Madonna in Le Puy? Does anyone know about that one?

Posted by
9110 posts

Rocamadour . . . . watch out, that might only be worth a half day at best. Good, but not worth making it the focus.

Posted by
7728 posts

Will look into those caves. Thanks Ed.
I went to the source and have a study (published 1945) that lists two Black Madonnas in Aix. One is (or was) in the Madeleine Church and the second is in the Saint Sauveur Cathedral. It also talks about one in Manosque, Haut Provence. All the others in the study are in rural chapels, which we have found mostly locked up nowadays. Send me a pm if you want the reference. The book came from a university art library and is written in French. You have a fabulous memory, Ed.

Posted by
7728 posts

Yes, there's one in Le Puy-en-Velay.
But if you're in the area of Rocamadour, you shouldn't miss Conques. It's unbelievable!

Posted by
9110 posts

Prehistory I can do.

Art comes from the broad I live with - - I didn't even know what a black Madonna was.