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Nicolas Poussin and the Pontil's Tomb

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb Landscape

Pontils Standing Stone and Templar Rose Marble Quarry

PONTILS MENHIR

To find the Pontils Menhir, head to Pontils from Couiza. Drive beyond the Pontils Tomb location and park opposite the second dirt track on the left. The first track is just a few metres past the tomb location, but it is the second track that leads to the Standing Stone and Templar Quarry.

Pontils Tomb 2010

Pontils Tomb Location 2010

Walk up the second track until you reach the Menhir.

Pontils Menhir 

Two different angles of the Pontils Menhir 2005 and 2010

View from behind the Pontils Menhir towards the Bezis Valley - 2010

Some have said the standing stone, which is thought to be the oldest man-made structure in the area, is formed from concrete and not a natural erected stone, and looking at the formation of the stone you could get that impression, but this type of rock in naturally formed and is widespread throughout the area.

PONTILS TEMPLAR ROSE MARBLE QUARRY

To reach the Pontils Rose Marble Quarry, carry on up the track until it splits in two. Walk up the left hand track for about 70 metres and then turn left into the scrub. The Quarry is about thirty metres from the track.

Is is thought to be have been owned by the Knights Templar. If true, they probably sold the stone as another form of income. The area is littered with abandoned blocks of Rose Marble cut from the hillside. With some of the blocks showing obvious signs of being worked, it seems that as much as possible was done on site before carted off for final finishing elsewhere. The array of partially cut slabs of marble are un indication the quarry was suddenly abandoned, perhaps whit the demise of the Templars, the quarry workers source of income dried up and so they left to find work elsewhere.

Pontils Quarry - Large Marble Block  Pontils Quarry Marble Block 2

Two Large Blocks of Rose Marble

 

Left - Rock marked for cutting  -  Right - A straight edged cut block

 

A Large block of Rose marble with Pat laying on it for size comparison

Although the blocks of marble do not look very pink or red, this changes when they have been smoothed and polished. To test this for yourselves, pick up one of the many chips of marble scattered about and wet it to bring out its colour. There are variations of colour ranging from greyish pink through to strong reds, but all are interspersed with veins of white.

  Pontils Quarry Shaped Block

Left - A partly worked block  -  Right - An unusual shaped worked block

Related Research Articles

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontil's Tomb

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb Landscape

Cassini map showing the area around Rennes-le-Chateau circa 1600 - 1700

Related Publications

 

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