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Discoidal stelae

Along the roads, you will see these surprising little funereal monuments.

The stelae are funereal monuments that date back to around the 10th century. With a solid surface, the stelae are made up of two parts: a foot of varying shapes surmounted by a disc. They are an integral part of the small heritage in the Lauragais.

Since ancient times they have been placed at the side of the deceased’s head to mark the location of the burial. Some think that they used worn grinding wheels which would explain their circular shape. The presence of other stelae in the Cathar area (France, Europe, Russia and as far as the Maghreb) suggests that the Lauragais stelae are not linked to this religion. They therefore signal the presence of a grave and evoke the memory of the person buried through sculpture, of tools or a symbolic sign. Sometimes, they can also serve as milestones on Jacobean routes or mark a place of devotion.

The stelae can be seen mainly in the villages of Les Cassès, Airoux, Baraigne, Cumies, Labécède Lauragais, Marquein, Molleville, Montferrand, Montmaur, Ricaud, Souilhanels and St Michel de Lanès.

Stèles aux Cassès
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