Église Saint-Laurent d'Ibos, better known as "Collégiale d'Ibos", is a religious building located in the heart of the town.
Classified as a historic monument in 1862, it is a 14th-century Gothic church that today hosts musical events.
Visible from afar, especially from the A64 freeway, legend has it that its bell tower has the distinction of having the Greenwich meridian running through it.
A little history...
The date of Ibos' first church on this site is unknown, due to the gap in Bigorre's history from the 6th to the 10th century. Bigorre began to be evangelized in the 4th century, and the first known bishop dates from the 6th century.
The fact that this collegiate church is dedicated to Saint-Laurent suggests that there was a church there quite early on, perhaps in the 9th century, during the Carolingian Renaissance. The attribution of a church to Saint-Laurent is an indication of its antiquity.
What is certain is that in the 11th century, there was a fortified church here.
The collegiate church
The exterior of this collegiate church is characterized by the monumental appearance of its bell-towered chevet and its square dungeon-belfry with a front clock. The walls were stripped bare in 1908, revealing bricks and pebbles.
The entrance is via a strikingly modern stone porch. The interior features a nave in the Languedoc style. Dating from the late 14th century, it is the oldest part of the building. The imposing choir, dating from the early 15th century, is polygonal with seven sides, each with high mullioned bays. Six chapels are set between the buttresses on either side of the nave.
The church boasts a wealth of 17th and 18th century furnishings, including a pulpit attributed to Marc Ferrère and a Spanish wooden statue of Saint-Laurent, to whom the former collegiate church is dedicated.
The collegiate church is located on the GR 101, a continuation of the Via Tolosana, one of the four French pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.
Between 1985 and 1996, the interior of the church was extensively restored.
Outside, on the right-hand side of the Collegiate Church, an 11th-century turret can be seen leaning against the bell tower, a veritable four-storey tower.
Collegiate Church of Ibos
Rue de la Collégiale,