Moissac is a town of artistic interest. A stop on the way to Santiago of Compostella. Moissac is in the Tarn et Garonne department. It is mostly famous for the artistic heritage handed down by the ancient Saint-Peter's abbey. From legend, it was founded by Clovis (the Frankish king), but from historical information it was founded by Saint Didier, bishop of Cahors in the middle of the seventh century . The monastery establishment was difficult because of Moors' and Norsemens' raids. The eleventh and twelfth centuries witnessed a first golden age, the consequence of Moissac being affiliated to the Burgundy abbey of Cluny and it's accepting the famous Reformation, under the drive of Durand de Bredons who was both the Abbot of Moissac and the bishop of Toulouse. This outstanding era witnessed major abbots Dom Hunaud de Gavarret , Dom Ansquitil; who had the doorway and tympanum built. In the thirteenth century , Raymond de Montpezat and then Bertrand de Montaigut, abbots and builders, ruled the abbey. Aymeric de Peyrac , writing his Chronicle in the fifteenth century in the castle of Saint Nicolas de la Grave reveals us those events. The fifteenth century witnessed a new golden age with abbots Pierre and Antoine de Caraman who edificied works, and especially the Gothic part of the abbey-church. The 1626 secularization of the abbey caused the Benedictine monks to leave the cloister after nearly 1000 years of Benedictine life. They were replaced by Augustinian canons, under commendary abbots: well-known cardinals such as Mazarin and de Brienne . In 1793, the French Revolution put an end to religious life. In the middle of the nineteenth century , the laying of a railway-track threatened the cloister but it was saved, listed as a historic monument. Even if the side buildings have suffered a lot and the abbey changed in aspect, this inheritance is nowadays the object of intense care as the tympanum, renowned amongst the greatest, and the most beautiful cloister in the world can still be admired.
Moissac is a stop on the pilgrimage route to Campostella
Market days held in the Place des Recollets are ~ Saturday and Sunday, farmers and traders sell their produce. There is also a wide range of clothes and artifacts.
Visit the cloister, it is thought to be one of the most beautiful cloisters in the world. Sit on the square, with a view of the Abbey, enjoying a coffee while the world passes. Try some Chasselas, the local grape, it has its own AOC(appelation d'origine controle). Its small and sweet, and regarded as a French Treasure.
Moissac region produces the Chasselas de Moissac AOC, a very tasty, golden grape. The region also produces foie gras.