The hidden secrets of Sainte-Engrâce
A church with unusual architecture
The Romanesque church of Sainte-Engrâce was built at the foot of a famous oak tree in 1085 by Leyre Abbey in Navarre.
This remarkable place is ideally situated looking towards the mountains and surrounded by nature.
Endowed with a hospice, it was an important stage for pilgrims walking along the Ways of St. James. Listed as a historical monument in 1841, it boasts 12 high quality, illustrated capitals.
The church’s adjoining cemetery contains discoidal steles, the origins of which remain a mystery.
The legend of Gratie
Sainte-Engrâce village owes its name to a young Portuguese woman named Gratie.
Travelling along the road to Gaule to marry a noble man of Christian faith, she was stopped by Roman soldiers. When she refused to renounce her religion, they tortured her and then killed her with a nail to the forehead, around the year 300.
The saint's relics can be found in Saragossa today, but legend has it that in the 10th century thieves had to stash jewels removed from the arm of the deceased, hiding them at Saint-Engrâce, at the foot of an oak tree.
Thereupon, a bull came to the tree, knelt down and its horns began to glow with a bright light.