Located in the east of the Lauragais region, near Castelnaudary, the ancient fortified town of Saint-Papoul has preserved its medieval character.
Founded in the 8th century, the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Papoul is intimately linked to the figure of Saint-Papoul.
This evangelizer of the Lauragais, disciple of Saint-Sernin, the first bishop of Toulouse, was probably martyred in the locality.
However, it is the personality of Saint-Bérenger who will make its fame from the 11th century.
The future Saint-Bérenger took the monastic habit in Saint-Papoul where he led a life of asceticism until his death.
His allegedly miraculous burial site was the object of special devotion and for a long time pilgrims flocked to the abbey, which had become prosperous.
The abbey experienced various aggressions, notably the looting of the "routiers" in 1361 or the anger of the Protestant troops in 1595.
The attention of the bishops was therefore quickly drawn to the state of degradation of the abbey.
Pierre Soybert, bishop since 1426, rehabilitated all the buildings.
Then, the 17th and 18th centuries saw important consolidation works and the construction of the bishop's palace.
The cloister was seriously damaged during the Revolution, which was also the end of the bishopric of Saint-Papoul.
It was not until 1840 that its restoration began.
Abbey of Saint-Papoul
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