Of Cads and Opium Dens
A bit of a stir in the woods
FILMS , MUSIC, DRAMA AND ARTBUILDINGS AND ARCHITECTURE
First of all let me take you on a walk through our forest, 'la Forêt Domaniale de Parlatges.' We will follow the old track that runs in front of our house. This used to link St Etienne with the tiny village of Parlatges, which lies higher up the valley. Today a busy road runs close by, but best to avoid that. Parlatges is charming with its traditional stone houses, steep winding streets, a tiny stone bridge, and a fine church, 'Notre Dame de Parlatges.' Once, for one day every year, people from Lodève would make a pilgrimage here. Mass would be followed by a visit to the cool fontaine which still flows by the bridge, and a communal picnic in the fields. Sadly, as cars began to arrive on the scene, the picnic and communal festivities were abandoned, although people still make individual pilgrimages to the church to this day, for it is reputed to bring healing to mute children, or those suffering from delayed language development. Photographs of visiting happy children are displayed as you enter.
Today we have come especially to visit the church, because it has strong links with Paul Dardé. In 1911 a ministerial decree declared that the church and its 14th Century altar piece , with scenes from the life of Christ, and a statue of the Virgin and Child , was in disrepair. The local mayor reported back that the necessary measures would be undertaken. Paul Dardé agreed to repair the altar piece, and he began work on it in 1927.