18 and 19 September 2021Passed
September 2021
Saturday 18
10:00 - 18:00
Sunday 19
10:00 - 18:00
0 to 99 years old

Village d'Aulon

Le bourg, 31420 Aulon
  • Haute-Garonne
  • Occitanie

"The Tower of Bridges", accompanied heritage walk

Evocation of the history and the main events that forged the soul of this small village commingeois.
18 and 19 September 2021Passed
© Vandergheynst Claude

"Le Tour des ponts", a heritage walk accompanied by anecdotes in the village of Aulon.
Walk (1.2 km) in the village to discover the built and cultural heritage to which we associate the different periods of the History (rich religious history, medieval history, history of the d'Aulon family, history of the oil epic with the exploitation of Saint-Marcet gas, etc.) who forged the soul of this old commingeois village and formerly the main town of one of the enclaves of Nebuzan.
Religious history: from the Benedictine priory dependent on the Abbey of Pessan in the Gers, there remains today only the church Notre-Dame (vocable: Nativity of the Virgin) entrusted to the monks since the eleventh century. The conventual buildings have all disappeared leaving apparent this massive building of primitive Romanesque style with flat chevet in which is inserted a geminated window and an authentically oculus of the eleventh century. The church is classified ISMH since 1926. A beautiful 14th-century octagonal bell tower in the Toulouse style rests on the four central pillars of the nave. The church and especially the priory fell into disuse from 1473 on the departure of the monks. The interior of the church (tribune, Séglan stone pulpit, openings and stained glass windows, choir, ...) was completely redesigned from 1850 during various missions preached by Capuchin fathers.
Medieval history: the history of the medieval castle and the d'Aulon family is extremely linked to the history of the priory and the church of Notre-Dame. The castle (more a manor than a castle) housed Templars in the 13th century who played an important role in the disputes between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of Aragon for the Val d'Aran. The castle was abandoned from 1312 and a branch of d'Aulon will join the Armagnacs family nearby. It was from this family branch that Jehan d'Aulon, the faithful servant of Charles VII but especially faithful intendant of Joan of Arc, emerged until his death at the stake. Today there are only the remains of the keep of this castle on which is affixed a crest in homage to Jehan d'Aulon. The next period was much more tumultuous for the village with a different attachment every 50 years or so depending on alliances and marriages. The village was also the main town of one of the 5 enclaves of Nebuzan in the 13th century and thus belonged to Gaston Phoebus (Foix-Bearn family).
Oil epic in the Comminges with the exploitation of the gas of Saint-Marcet: eve of the Second World War, on a brilliant intuition of geologists and a strong political will, on the 14 July 1939 discovery of the 1st French gas deposit on the territories of Latoue, Saint-Marcet and Aulon. Despite the entry into war, it was decided to develop this gas field which would produce until the end of the 1990s. This discovery will profoundly change the lives of the people of this very rural territory. "Peasants will become oil tankers". Alsatians will come to form the teams. Many young people fleeing the STO and the Spanish Republicans fleeing Franco will provide labor. A company will be created "La RAP" (Régie Autonome des Pétroles) to exploit and manage this discovery. A small village of oil tankers will leave the town of Pinat, a small refinery will be built for the treatment of gas in Peyrouzet (today industrial wasteland). The development of this gas field will be the emergence and creation of many companies that will be found later around the world. The RAP after its move to Boussens will become ELF, ELF-Aquitaine which will be absorbed by TOTAL in the 2000s. From the RAP, the SNPA (Pétroles d'Aquitaine) will be created which will allow the exploitation of the Lacq gas field; Boussens will become the logistic base for the development of Saharan oil. We will also not forget to pass in front of a stele in Mengué which commemorates the death on June 8, 1944 of 4 RAP guerrillas killed by the Germans and we will also have a thought for the first director of the RAP, Pierre Angot, who was deported to Buchenwald for refusing to cooperate with the enemy.
In the centre of the village is a 16th century fountain associated with a 19th century wash house. In 1842, the fountain was decorated by a sculptor of the region fervent Napoleonic admirer. The painting illustrates the popular imagery of this period and traces the nostalgia of the sculptor in the beautiful stone of Seglan. A semicircular arch is carved from 10 exotic animals, a grenadier and the emperor Napoleon stands guard in a entablature that surmounts the fountain in which is inserted in a niche the bust of a "beautiful Lady" in the manner of a Marianne.
There are some very interesting facades of old notable houses dating from the nineteenth century to comment. There are also two restored old mills out of the three that the village had in the 17th century.
Let us not forget the small hamlet of Mengué, located 4 km from Aulon, with its church and its "miraculous" source of Saint Anthony the Hermit. Saint Anthony the Hermit after several centuries is still venerated on January 17 of each year.
Two restored old 17th century mills are located on the Louge.
On the hillsides, see the district of Lucet and Layrisse with traces of Roman presence, then feudal clod? , with a Saint-Lizier church now disappeared and where finally very few historical traces reside.

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Visite commentée / Conférence
Thème 2021
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About the location

Village d'Aulon
Le bourg, 31420 Aulon
  • Haute-Garonne
  • Occitanie
Small Commingeois village located on the D8 from Saint-Gaudens to Aurignac in the northern part of the Pyrenean Piedmont, Aulon is the old main city of Nébouzan . This mountain village in the Aure valley is distinguished by its Romanesque church and its characteristic houses of the valley.
Monument historique, Édifice religieux, Édifice rural
Coming from Toulouse by the A62, exit at Boussens then direction Aurignac, coming from Tarbes take direction of Aurignac at Saint-Gaudens.
©Claude Vandergheynst