Notre-Dame-la-Daurade: Black Virgin and queen with goose feet

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The Daurade Virgin - ©Peter Potrowl / CC-BY-SA The Daurade Virgin - ©Peter Potrowl / CC-BY-SA
La Daurade basilica Basilica Pilgrimage Legend

Gold everywhere!


One of the oldest church in Toulouse, mentioned for the first time in the 6th century, when king Chilpéric’s daughter, Rigonthe, took shelter here. The Daurade was rebuilt by Visigoth kings on the foundations of an old temple dedicated to Apollo or Minerva: we found here a big golden mosaic, deaurata, which means “covered with gold” in Latin... that’s why our basilica was called Daurade!

The current building was raised in 1764 by architect Hardy, who was inspired by the church of Saint-Peter in Roma!

A Black Virgin and a queen with goose feet


In the church, people used to venerate a Black Virgin since the Middle-Ages: Our-Lady-the-Black. The primitive statue was lost, the current copy dates back to 1807.

Women from Toulouse came to pray her in case of difficult pregnancies, even capitouls (mayor of the city) prayed her in case of diseases, wars, starvings! Nowadays, famous French fashion designers as Castelbajac or Lacroix made modern and chic dresses for our Virgin!

Another tradition deals with a queen with goose feet. Until the 18th century, we could see in the church a piece from a Visigoth queen's tomb. Her name was Ragnahilde, a mythical queen of Toulouse who lived in the 5th century when the city was ruled by Visigoths.

This lady was the mysterious reine Pédauque, the "queen with goose feet"! She was named after her deformity, or maybe because she loved having a dip in a pond in her Toulouse's palace...


And also!