Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gorges du Tarn

The remote villages tucked in between the steep cliffs of the Gorges du Tarn are shrouded in medieval mysticism. Given the ominous misty highlands above, the difficulty of journey and tough life of subsistence it's easy to understand why imaginations might run wild. Today, the sights of the gorge are no less inspiring. If you can handle the incessantly winding roads, it's a great place to enjoy nature.


My favorite tale of tale of the Tarn comes from Sainte-Enimie, so named after the story's heroine. The story the this Merovingian princess began in Paris. She wanted to devote her life to God. However, her father wanted to marry his beautiful daughter off to one of the many suitors that had come calling because of her rare beauty. She refused them and prayed to receive an affliction that would hold the suitors at bay for good. To her initial delight, she fell ill with leprosy.

As her conditions worsened, she began to have second thoughts about her situation. Seeking a cure, she traveled to a remote region of France said to have cold healing waters. Near present day St. Enimie she found her salvation. She lived and took residence with the local monks. Her faith grew, but she was often tested. The legend even recounts her victory of a dragon-like incantation of the Devil himself.

View more of my photos of the Gorges du Tarn on flickr.
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.