/ / Biel: photos, description (Blesle)

Biel: photos, description (Blesle)

Blel - a picturesque medieval village situated to the South of the centre of France, in the Auvergne region. It is included in the Association "Most beautiful villages of France". It is home to just over six hundred people.

The topography of this place is a basalt plateau with cones of extinct volcanoes. It is known that the first settlements appeared here four thousand years ago and belong to the Neolithic period. Then preserved evidence of the presence of Gauls and Romans.

The oldest Abbey of the city was founded in the second half of the IX century. It was a convent of the sisters of the Benedictines, consecrated in honor of St. Peter. Its founder was Oversea Irmengard, the mother of the Duke of Aquitaine Guillaume the Pious, who in turn, founded the famous Abbey of Cluny. Interestingly, the abbess of the monastery of its kind ruling over the whole city, but this lasted only until the XI century when Biel was chosen as his residence Baron de Merker. The conflict between the two seniors was solved only in the XIII century, and as the world's mediator spoke of the king of France.

However, feudal war unexpectedly beneficial impact on the improvement of the city barons to protect their territories, erected a fortified castle, surrounding it by a thick wall with towers. And the main Church of the Abbey - the Cathedral of St. Peter was rebuilt in the Romanesque style and has survived in virtually intact - as it was at the time of construction in the XII century. The number of inhabitants in the city grew, and in the fourteenth century, was consecrated the second temple - the Cathedral of St. Martin.

But then the crisis came - nuns withdrew into seclusion, and the family of the barons de Merker faded, and with their disappearance came the castle. During the French revolution, all sacral buildings were either nationalized and sold, or, in the worst case, destroyed. Before the industrial revolution the village was supported by its agriculture and labor of artisans, but with the carrying out of the railway and the subsequent outflow of people in the large city area finally empty. Moreover, in the fifties of the XIX century there broke out a sharp epidemic of typhoid fever which claimed many lives.

At the end of XX century has been restored medieval buildings, the Cathedral of St. Peter, remains of the fortification, the belltower of St. Martin - the only thing that remains from the Church of the XIV century. In Blel an influx of tourists - they also attracted bright half-timbered houses, which miraculously managed to save. Among other structures it should also be noted the ancient building in the Romanesque style and old city hospital. Also have to go inside the Church of St. Peter, as the Cathedral Treasury presents a picture of the blessed virgin Mary, executed in the XIII century.