The new cemetery
Belpech, a village to discover
From yesteryears to nowadays, what a history…
Thanks to L. and T. Guillosson for translation
When the Belpech-Garnaguès settlement was founded, inhabitants continued to bury their dead in the Garnac cemetery. Later, they looked for a less remote site. The current location can be dated back to the XIIth century.
A chapel was built, named Saint-Michel-outside-the-walls, replacing the primitive Saint-Michel church, of which the bell-gable still stands, in the heart of the village, in front of the new Saint-Sernin church.
Notice the three pointed arches, to your right when entering the cemetery. This building used to hold stone crypts that were contemporary to the chapel.
This chapel holds numerous tombstones. Since the Revolution, parish priests, monks and nuns of Belpech have been buried there. The first one was Jean Salafa, nonjuring priest, buried in the centre of the chapel between the side doors (1811). Before that, they were inhumed in Saint-Sernin church.
The cemetery contained a large number of gothic tombstones. They were recovered and safely stored in the Holy-Sepulchre chapel of the parish church (see panel n°4).
The white cross
A bit further, on the way towards Gaudiès and the Ariège, you will find the "white cross", which marked the site of a rogation (or procession). The current cross is one from the cemetery which was reused and placed at the cross-road in the 1920s to replace the missing original cross.
Archeological excavations carried out on that spot in 2001 uncovered a large medieval or post-medieval tile-making workshop, comprising several ovens. According to the study performed at the time, the oven could date from the XIVth to the XVIth century and be contemporary to the building of the church of Saint-Sernin.
Tile-making oven, XIVth – XVIth centuries