Noves and the mysterious tarasque

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The tarasque, detail - ©Rvalette / CC-BY-SA The tarasque, detail - ©Rvalette / CC-BY-SA
Jesuits chapel in Avignon Chapel Museum Mystery

A museum...

The current lapidary museum is located in the old Jesuit chapel since 1933: this is an archaeological museum. A pretty nice casket for a nice collection.

Actually it’s a chapel raised in 1620 based on drawings by Etienne Martelange, completed in 1661 by La Valfrenière. Permanent collections are composed of prehistorical, Greek, Roman, Gaulish collections.

Among those beauties, the mysterious anthropomorphous steles from the Doms rock, the Tarasque of Noves of treasures found in Pourrières (Var, Southern France)!

Come on, let’s see this mysterious tarasque: this statue (about 1,20 metres high made of limestone) is the museum's nicest piece, in my opinion. Let me introduce it...

... and its monstrous beast

Noves is a little village near Avignon. Here, in a place known as gué de Bonpas, a farmer discovered, one fine day of 1849, a creepy statue, in middle of his field! Damned! Was that a wolf, a dog, a bear?! The beast has a long mane, a lion tail, a bulk body covered with scales.

It sits on his back legs, its forelegs resting on bearded faces, with eyes shut: oh, they look like the chopped-off heads of Entremont, near Aix-en-Provence! In the beast's mouth, the arm of a poor victim...

This effigy dates back to -50 BC, it was used for religious rites: maybe a kind of god, a totem? A horrible beast which ate men. They even made human sacrifices!


And also!