The village of Saint-Pierre de Nogaret at the foothills of the Aubrac mountains
The commune of Saint-Pierre de Nogaret covers 14 km in length and 5 km in width. It is located between the Lot river Valley and the Aubrac mountains. The now abandoned village of Nogaret, a little south of Saint-Pierre de Nogaret, was the headquarters of "Nogaret’s mandate".
During a long period ranging from the Middle Ages to the 1789 revolution, Saint-Germain du Teil constitutes together with the current municipalities of Saint-Pierre de Nogaret and Trélans "Nogaret’s Mandate". It was attached to the crown of the King of France in 1258. It extended from Mailhebiau to the Lot river valley. It consisted of small cultivated plateaus and deep valleys where dwellings were only accessible by narrow paths. It thus constituted an almost impregnable territory by invaders, assuming an important defensive function, in particular allowing controlling the circulation axes coming from Rouergue and from the hinterland towards the Lot river valley.
The dead village of Nogaret
Nogaret once stood on the banks of the Doulou creek, at the bottom of a deep valley. The site included very likely a dozen dwellings, a mill, three bread ovens and a chapel. The feudal castle which was the seat of Nogaret’s Mandate has long been in ruins.
The Chapel of Nogaret
Before 1307, there was already a Marian chapel, built above the castle. In 1427, Pierre Rigal established a chapel under the name of the Virgin and Saint-Thomas. Around 1772, the building collapsed and in 1775 a smaller chapel was rebuilt to house the wooden statue of Our Lady, removed from the collapsed church. The ancestral worship and pilgrimage was then resumed until the Revolution, after which the chapel was closed and the statue hidden in a cave by a resident of the village. She died without revealing her secret and when the chapel reopened it was without the statue. It was found by chance and replaced in the chapel, but very deteriorated; it had to be replaced by an oak wood statue of the Virgin. In 1875, a larger chapel was built with the dimensions of that of the 14th century. In 1895 the vault collapsed again but the sanctuary was restored thanks to the members of the association "Les amis de la chapelle Nogaret". Each year, at the beginning of September, it hosts a pilgrimage in honor of Mary.