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Black Madonna sites on the French Camino


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I plan to walk the French route from Le Puy to the border of Spain this summer. I want to know about Black Madonna sites along this route - any comments, book recommendations etc. are most welcome!!
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Perhaps this is something you already know about, but there is some information in English about the importance of the Black Madonna in Le Puy itself for the Marist order. This comes from the 'history' section on the Irish Marists website: Puy.html
Central France seems to hold most of the Black Madonnas, so there are probably quite a few in the vicinity of the Camino from Le Puy.

Directly on the Camino the following towns have Black Madonnas:

Le Puy en Velay - 2 statues apparently

Espalion - in the Chapel of l'Hopital d'Espalion


Rocamadour - probably the most famous, just north-west of Figeac.

Hope this helps.
Not on the French, but on the Portuguese Camino, we came across this Black Madonna. It was on the Porto to Guardieras stretch in a roadside altar:


I don't know if this is a "Black Madonna" or simply a black "Madonna" but she was beautiful!

The Black Virgins: the Veneration, the Iconography and the Sanctuaries in Europe
In Italy - Oropa and Crea

This convention deals with the veneration of the black Virgins in Europe and it is organised by the Centro di Documentazione dei Sacri Monti, Calvari e Complessi devozionali europei (Centre for Documentation of European Sacred Mountains, Calvaries and devotional complexes) and by the Riserva Naturale Speciale del Sacro Monte di Oropa in cooperation with the Università Cattolica
del Sacro Cuore of Milan, the Sanctuary of Oropa and the Sanctuary of Crea.

In Piedmont there are two black Madonnas, one in Oropa and the other in Crea; other examples in Italy can be found in Loreto and Varese, but there is plenty of this kind of holy images all over Europe. Black Madonnas have been at the centre of studies for years: their colour is in fact an enigma, an exception in medieval iconography, where the colour black was traditionally connected to evil. Scholars advance different hypotheses: some of them maintain that these statues have blackened with smoke of candles that have been burning in front of them for centuries or because they have miraculously survived fire; some others maintain that they could be dealing with the ancient veneration of the Mother Goddess, which could have exactly converged in the veneration of the Black Virgins of Christian faith.
Apart from their origin, the Black Madonnas are a unique example of cultural, historical and religious heritage which can contribute to unite European peoples in diversity, a quotation from the slogan of the European Union and a concept ecumenism.
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3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

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