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The other Refuges and Sentinels

Refuge d'Art

Chapelle Sainte-Madeleine

"The raison d'être of this edifice is no longer known. Local people remember only that you could tell the time – and in particular midday – from the way the light fell on the rock. (…) It was the 'poor man's sundial', all the more so as the Roche de la Madeleine is visible from almost everywhere in Thoard." The presence of the chapel is certainly related to the fact that a "Madeleine", in the Middle Ages, was "an establishment that took in the sick along the great pilgrimage routes. They were often to be found on the boundaries of a region, in mountain passes, beside bridges or thoroughfares. They had to be easily accessible, but at a slight distance from the road, so that the sick people were kept apart. (…) The chapel was reconstructed in 1657 on the initiative of some noble and bourgeois families of Thoard. (…) The village's confraternity of white penitent friars organised an annual pilgrimage for the saint's feast day, 22 July."

Irène Magnaudeix, historian