Souillac, Abbey of

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Former Benedictine monastery of St. Mary, Souillac, canton and arrondissement of Gourdon (Lot), France, Diocese of Cahors, on the Borrèze River (Latin, Solliacum, Sordillacum, Sublacum ). According to tradition, the abbey was founded by eligius of noyon in 655. In 806 it needed restoration by Louis I, the Pious. After the nor man invasions, it was reendowed in 927 by Frotard, Viscount of Cahors; in 960 it was restored by Gerald of Saint-Céré, Abbot of aurillac. In 1660 Souillac was united to the Congregation of Saint-Maur (see maurists). At one time it had over 80 priories and parishes dependent on it. The 12th-century Romanesque abbey church, which is now a national historical monument, is perfectly preserved and recalls Saint-Front of Perigueux in size and Byzantine style. A former portal of the church, now inside, is one of the most interesting pieces of southern French romanesque sculpture.

Bibliography: Gallia Christiana, v.113 (Paris 171585),v.1416 (Paris 185665) 1:179182. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:3069. m. aubert, "Souillac," Congrès archéologique de France 90 (1927) 261270. g. cany, "Les Chapiteaux historiés du choeur de Souillac, Lot," Annales du Midi 62 (1950) 209214. g. cany and m. labrousse, "L'Église abbatiale de Souillac," Bulletin monumental 109 (1951) 389404.

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