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Saint-Leonard-￼de-Noblat is a beautiful Romanesque style church in the town by the same name in the Limousin region of central France. It is one of 78 structures in France protected under the UNESCO “Routes of the Santiago de Compestela”. France has four historic “Ways of St. James” as the early Christian pilgrimage roads leading to the town of Santiago de Compestela in northern Spain were called. Santiago de Compestela was believed to be the burial site of St. James, and thus became a pilgrimage destination.
The town of Saint Leonard-de-Noblat was named after Saint Leonard de Noblac who lived in the 6th century. He became the patron saint for prisoners due to his negotiating skills in getting prisoners released. After his death he also became the patron saint of pregnant women. It was believed that women who wanted to conceive and prayed at his grave succeeded in becoming pregnant.
For chemists, the town of Saint Leonard-de-Noblat is of interest as the birthplace of of Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, an early 19th century chemist and physicist. He discovered that water was made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen; discovered two laws related to the behaviour of gasses; and did work on alcohol-water mixtures which led to the standard used to measure alcoholic beverages today.
Today the town of Saint Leonard-de-Noblat is a lovely place for a short visit. Besides the beautiful old church, it’s pleasant to stroll around the squares and small side streets which have retained their medieval character. Of course, the local patisserie and chocolate shop also add to the experience.
Thanks for visiting.