This website requires JavaScript.

Avignon and the tarasque, between legend and traditions

The tarasque | Véronique PAGNIER / CC-BY-SA
Festivities Miracle Legend House Avignon's tarasque

In Avignon, rue des Teinturiers, we have this low-relief of the tarasque eating a man, at number 20... The tarasque?

A horrible beast!

Between Arles and Avignon, we found insalubrious swamps. In those swamps, a naughty beast: the Tarasque!

A horrible amphibious beast, a ferocious animal bigger than a beef, longer than a horse, with a lion head, teeth sharp as swords, a horse mane, scales, 6 bear paws, a snake tail, a shell like turtle on its flanks...

It was squatted in river Rhône's banks. And it guzzled people! Only one person could release them from the Tarasque, one woman...

Saint Marthe rallies round

Who? A saint, Marthe. Marthe had made plenty of miracle. Maybe she could save people from the Tarasque? Well, of course!

She found the beast, hidden in a wood eating a man. Marthe sprinkled it with blessed water and showed it a cross. The beast suddenly submitted itself to her, paralyzed! Marthe put it a silk ribbon around its neck. The Tarasque became as docile as a lamb...

But meanwhile, people shout for revenge!! As soon as the monster died, they came and cut it into pieces! So... the naughty beast was defeated and the christianism imposed itself in Provence. Thanks to... Marthe!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!