Saint Frezal chapelSaint Frezal chapel
©Saint Frezal chapel
Discover the

Saint-Frézal chapel

One of the oldest churches in Gévaudan

Discover the Saint-Frézal de la Canourgue chapel, a mystical place not to be missed during your visit to the village. This chapel, with its many stories and legends, already existed in the 11th century and is said to be one of the oldest churches in Gévaudan (the former name of the Lozère département). It is off-center from the village center and located right next to the Saint-Frézal spring

All about

saint-frézal chapel

Saint-Frézal was one of the most illustrious bishops of Gévaudan. He was murdered on September 4, 826, just south of La Canourgue by his nephew, Bucilinus, driven by the devil. Born around 780, he became bishop under the reign of Louis the Pious (son of Charlemagne). The “Saint-Frézal” chapel is dedicated to him.

The legend of Saint-Frézal

Legend has it that his nephew, having beheaded his uncle Saint-Frézal, picked up his severed head and brought it to his burial site. The chapel was later built on this site. Initially, the site of the St-Frézal chapel was a pagan place of worship, and a parish church dedicated to the saint was built there, under the auspices of the Saint-Martin monastery in La Canourgue.

The Saint-Frézal chapel and the Collégiale Saint-Martin are the last vestiges of this ancient monastery.

Saint-Frézal chapel

And its treasures

Many treasures are hidden inside the chapel, making it a protected monument, closed to the public (the door is open for viewing through a grate on fine days):

  • Tapestries depicting the life of the saint (designed by Lucien Linget and sewn by ladies from La Canourgue)
  • TheAltar, serving as a tomb, in which the body of St-Frézal is believed to be located: the tomb has been opened several times, and the body inside was studied and carbon-14 dated in 1992. The date of death is consistent with the legend, but the saint was not decapitated, but rather suffered a blow that shattered his skull. He would have been a man in his forties or fifties (similar to the saint’s age at the time of his death). A tall man (approx. 1.80 m), with a repaired tibia fracture: must have been limping slightly. Also found were walnut shells introduced by rats, coins bearing the effigies of Louis XI, Louis XIV and Louis XV, and the jawbone of a child aged around 5.
  • Carved stone at the entrance: Saint-Frézal is shown kneeling with Bucilinus brandishing the sword that will decapitate him, while the devil embraces him to take him to hell. At the time, this stone was used as a dissection table for autopsies at La Canourgue hospital (before the Saint-Martin retirement home). Drawing by Lucien Linget, sculpted by Mme Daveluy.
All about the chapel


of the Lot Valley
  • How to visit the Saint-Frézal chapel

    On sunny days, the Saint-Frézal chapel in La Canourgue can be viewed from the gate, but access is not permitted. If you approach the gate, a surprise awaits you…

    Guided tours of the chapel are organized in summer by the Confrérie de la Pouteille et du Manouls (more information in our diary).

    During guided night tours of La Canourgue (a few Mondays in July and August only), enter the chapel of St-Frézal by night and let its history be told to you…

  • How do I get to Chapelle Saint-Frézal?

    The Saint-Frézal chapel is located outside the village of <a href=””>la Canourgue</a>, next to the Lycée Louis Pasteur. At the end of the small track running alongside the Saint-Frézal meadow, there’s a small parking lot where you can park. Once at the parking lot, take the dirt track leading to the chapel, often <strong>camouflaged</strong> behind the trees.