is a commune
in the Tarn-et-Garonne department
in the Midi-Pyrénées region
in southern France
. It is famous world-wide mostly for the artistic heritage handed down by the ancient Saint-Pierre Abbey.
According to legend, the abbey 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 7th century. The establishment of the monastery was difficult because of raids by the Moors
and the Norsemen
. The 11th and 12th centuries witnessed a first golden age, the result of Moissac being affiliated to the Burgundy abbey of Cluny
and its accepting the famous Reformation, under the guidance of Durand de Bredons
who was both the Abbot of Moissac and the bishop of Toulouse
. This outstanding era witnessed the major abbots Dom Hunaud de Gavarret
, and Dom Ansquitil
; who had the doorway and tympanum built. In the 13th century, Raymond de Montpezat
and then Bertrand de Montaigut
, abbots and builders, ruled the abbey. Aymeric de Peyrac
, writing his Chronicle in the 15th century in the castle of Saint Nicolas de la Grave reveals us those events.
The 15th century saw a new golden age with abbots Pierre and Antoine de Caraman, whose building programme included in particular the Gothic part of the abbey church. The 1626 secularization of the abbey caused the Benedictine
monks to leave the cloister which had been a centre of Benedictine life for nearly 1000 years. They were replaced by......