That man Felix Armand again

Having written about Felix Armand a couple of days ago, I want to add that I have since found more memorials to him in Quillan. There is a Felix Armand street very near us. And this morning I noticed that a large rock monument near the railway station is dedicated to Felix Armand. The rock has a hole roughly bored through it, presumably echoing the road through the gorge. It occurred to me that he might be buried beneath the memorial so I stepped more respectfully around it after that. He must have been quite the hero of his time. Having started to read Graham Robb’s The Discovery of France, I note that when Armand was around this region would not have been at all French, as we know it today. Was he a local, speaking whatever language they spoke here, or was he sent down here by the post-revolutionary administration based in Paris to better connect this area with the rest of France? Even Wikipedia has revealed little to me.

Rue Felix Armand

Rue Felix Armand

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Felix Armand memorial

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3 thoughts on “That man Felix Armand again

  1. Stephen Christie Post author

    He was a local curate as we have discovered on further reading, and, miraculously, the biography of him written in the 1800s, can be downloaded for free as a google e-book! Scanning it and sight translating some of the chapters, it’s a fascinating read! A local man made good. Surely destined for an eminent post thanks to his great piety and wisdom, he instead took up at the age of 32 the vacant post of curate of the isolated village of St Martin Lys, unwanted by any other priest in the diocese. It was then that he committed to seeing through his vision of a path through the rock – and he was still alive when it was completed forty years later.

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  2. Doris and Bill Christie

    I’m glad you managed to find out something more about him. He certainly sounds like someone worthy of being remembered for his contribution in the area. The Defile de la Pierre Lys must be an impressive engineering feat and would have involved a lot of hours of hard work by many men over the 40 years it took to construct.

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