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Topo Joncels and its surroundings


Brief history

of the abbey church of Joncels.

Former Benedictine abbey, built on the former site of the cella d'Isiates, the name of its founder is unknown to us.
If the list in our possession, of the abbots who succeeded one another at the head of the abbey of Joncels begins in the 8th century, several historians trace its existence back to the 7th century, specifying that it is probably the oldest in our region.

The village adjoining the abbey is fortified just like it, because the abbot who governed it was also Lord of the village and therefore had to defend the inhabitants in the event of an external attack.

Independent until 909, it will be attached to the abbey of
Psalmodie (commune of Saint Laurent d'Aigouze in the Gard). After a period of slackening the abbey church finding itself at the worst, Fulcran bishop of Lodève who was very attached to him will have the abbey church restored and put at its head Etienne one of his abbots, fervent defender of the Benedictine rule. The abbey church will then regain all its prosperity and in 980, 28 churches will come under the dioceses of Béziers, Agde, Rodez and Lodève. In 1136 the monastery regains its independence 18 monks lived there. Who says independence, says relaxation of observances, the monks are called to order on several occasions. In 1321 the Bishop of Beziers Guillaume Fredol at the request of Pope John XXII promulgates statutes of reform so that discipline is respected. In 1361, Pope Urbain V in his turn decided to join the abbey of Joncels to the powerful abbey of Saint Victor in Marseille. It must be recognized that the abbey of Joncels saw the first consequences of one of the three tragic events in its history.

First tragic event for the abbey: the hundred years war of the troops of mercenaries lend themselves to numerous exactions, in 1379 for example the abbey will be occupied and devastated by Benoit Chaparel bastard of Savoy. These attacks and occupations weaken it because it has to undergo restorations each time.
At the end of the 15th century, it experienced the second event: a conflict with the abbey of Villemagne which was adjacent.
The most serious was the third event: The wars of religion. Indeed, Claude de Narbonne, fervent captain of the Huguenot troops, goes to Joncels with his troops, the monastery will be completely ransacked, three quarters of the archives will be burned. The abbey being ruined, the monks will disperse in the houses of the village while awaiting the reconstruction of the conventual buildings and the restoration of the abbey church.
Between 1710 and 1737 the abbey was restored, the monks could have
resume their monastic life, but they will ask to become collegiate.
In 1750 a bull of Pope Benoit XIV transformed the abbey of Joncels into a collegiate church. In 1789 the French revolution sounded the death knell for the abbey of Joncels, all his property went to the town.


12th century cloister


Fortified abbey church


15th century virgin


18th century reliquary (relics of St Benedict, Christian Roman martyr, protector of


18th century statue of St Michael slaying the demon


17th century gilded wood altarpiece


Stall of the Father Abbot 18th century


Altar cippe


Visigothic cancel fragment


Christ on the cross


17th century chasuble


3 Bells (1671-1733-1784)


17th century chasuble


Pray God


3 19th century chandeliers

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