The green and ochre-coloured Vic-Bilh landscapes are attractively undulating, scattered with small churches of Roman origin hiding baroque furniture. Modest in size and built from the 11th century, their refined decorations are expressions of the rich Roman art in Gascony that was influenced by the style in Languedoc, Navarre and Aragon. Anonymous artists expressed their amazing talents in the elaborate decoration of column capitals and tympanums .
Chi-Rho monograms in the Vic Bilh
These monograms, often found on the tympanum of churches in the North Béarn, are a symbol of Christ. They are usually circular and composed of overlapped X and P (the letters Chi and Rho of the Greek alphabet), the first two letters of the word Christos. Left and right of Chi-Rho are the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the designation of Jesus according to the Book of Revelation by St. John. At the end of the 11th c., an S was added to the descender of the P, probably to symbolize the Holy Spirit.
12th c. church with a renaissance portal opening onto a Romanesque chancel.
GPS : 43.5250812, -0.157176299
Church with interesting furniture: the altarpiece of the chancel, wrought iron barrier around the choir, gilded wood chandelier, wood paneling...
GPS : 43.544807, -0.1699876
Romanesque church with one of the most beautiful, richly decorated portals in the Vic-Bilh; magnificent interiors.
GPS : 43.5651824, -0.171751699
12th c. Romanesque church with 16th c. fortifications and magnificent 17th c. interiors, listed historical monument. Walled-up south portal with a Chi Rho monogram.
GPS : 43.464218, -0.124057
19th c. church, featuring 31 stained glass windows by Bergès (1863).
GPS : 43.559286, -0.27315590
11th and 12th c. Romanesque church with a highly decorated pillared portal.
GPS : 43.4838755, -0.211617700
Listed 12th c. Romanesque church. Sculpted Maltese cross, JHS monogram and lovely Romanesque portal. Listed décor inside: altar and altarpiece, sanctuary lamp, wooden nave. Open Tuesdays in Jul. & Aug., 14:30 to 17:00.
Route de l'Eglise / GPS : 43.514899, -0.08346
Medieval sanctuary of the castle, reconstructed in the 16th c. 17th c and 18th c. furniture: tabernacle, statues and altarpiece. 17th c. baptismal font with studded lid and columnar holy water font. A headstone marks the location of the ancient burial chapel of the castle lords. Historical monument.
Bourg / GPS : 43.542513, -0.225852
20th c. church, decorated with a beautiful collection of 6 glass-stained windows signed by René-Marie Castaing. Furniture and baroque altar-tabernacle by Giraudy.
GPS : 43.5250812, -0.157176299
12th c. Romanesque church with a decorated south portal and magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
GPS : 43.5583816, -0.15084219
11th c. church with a 12th c. chancel and beautiful narrow stained glass windows. Sarcophagus at entrance to the Nave.
GPS : 43.5256979, -0.18438190
Church built between the 10th and the 18th c. on the site of a former Gallo-Roman villa with exceptional fragments of the 4th and 5th c. mosaics. 12th c. south chapel with a Romanesque altar.
GPS : 43.5412089, -0.24323070
A timeless sanctuary built in the 12th century secluded in a valley, in the proximity of an allegedly miraculous source. The Romanesque portal has a Chi-Rho monogram and the axial apse window at the front end of the church is crowned by a delicately checkered frieze.
D317 / GPS : 43.574631, -0.138048
Tucked in the hillside, the church exhibits a well-balanced Romanesque portal with two 12th c. protruding arches decorated by acanthus leaves, rosettes and rinceaux (folial and floral motifs). A Chi-Rho monogram is found on the tympanum and a small axial window can be seen in the buttress of the front end (apse) of the church.
Carchet, 43.536634, -0.138316
Small charming church in a bucolic setting. The church was built in the 12th c. and has preserved its bell tower wall and semi-circular apse. A Chi-Rho monogram decorates the main portal.
5 chemin de Domengeux / GPS : 43.479464, -0.094403
The gothic style building, the largest in the Vic Bilh, dates back to the early 16th c. The porch protecting the flamboyant gothic portal is topped by a substantial bell tower. Small sculpted stones are embedded in the North and West outer walls. Thirteen stained glass windows. A low narrow doorway in the South wall is believed to have been the entrance for the “cagots” (a shunned minority of the past).
10 Bd Amédée Doléris / GPS : 43.448029, -0.106586
The church of Maspie was built in the second half of the 12th c. Its composite aspect is interesting: the Romanesque apse was raised and reinforced in the 16th c. with a checkered masonry of cobbles and cut stone, topped with crenellations. The beautiful baroque portal is dated 1667.
Mairie / GPS : 43.420751, -0.148208
Charming little church built in the 12th c., located in the hamlet. The Romanesque portal is decorated with a Chi-Rho monogram encircled by a beaded rim, and above a four-rowed checkered frieze decorates the tympanum. The tabernacle dates from the 17th c.
Lion / GPS : 43.424805, -0.125589
The church dates from the early 12th c. Stunning Romanesque portal with three tiered projecting arches and an upside down Chi-Rho monogram. The words “Pax, Lux, Lex, Rex” are inscribed on the background of the tympanum. The right-hand capital depicts David and his musicians; the one on the left portrays Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Very interesting Romanesque apse with a protruding decor, checkered frieze, oculi and buttresses.
Église / GPS : 43.446306, -0.166072