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The Hospitallers

 

A brief history of the Hospitallers.

 Hospitaller commandery in Nébian - JPEG - 17.2 kb
Hospitaller commandery in Nébian
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In 1113, Gérard a monk in charge of a hospice in Jerusalem received the approval of Pope Pascal II to create the Order of the Knights of St. John, whose vocation was to look after and nurse pilgrims. So as to ensure their security on the roads, another order was founded three years later in 1116 called the Order of the Templars. Because the region was in a state of latent warring, from 1126 the Hospitallers also became the Defenders of Faith.

The commandery of the Order of Hospitallers at Nébian

When they returned from the first crusade to Jérusalem in 1147, the baron Bérenger II, seigneur of Clermont-Lodève, and Pierre de Posquieres, bishop of Lodève, decided together to establish a hospital in Nébian for treating pilgrims of the diocese who were going to travel to the Holy Land. Bérenger II contributed the greater part of his land in Nébian and Pierre De Posquieres gave up the church of Saint Julien with its income, to the Hospitallers of Saint Jean of Jérulasem. The donation was agreed by the Great Master of the Order who named Guillelmus as the first Commander in 1157. He took possession of the lands with a few knights and servants. Thus instated he had built, a house, outbuildings, a compound surrounded by high walls and he enlarged the church and named a chaplain. The Hospitallers took care of the church service, hospital administration, maintenance of the roads and treatment for pilgrims and travellers on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostelle coming from Saint Guilhem, Brignac, le Puech Augé in Nébian, Saint Georges de Boussac in Aspiran and Paulhan.

The new commandery was to become rich later on through gifts and legacies, like the seigneury at Liausson and several other significant strongholds. The Hospitallers of Saint Jean of Jerulasem thus became real seigneurs of Nébian up until the law of 19 September 1792 put an end to their presence. The remains of this commandery are still visible today. At the end of the 15th century, at the formal request of the King of France, the Hospitallers were made to defend the village and to protect the inhabitants from robberies by English brigands.

However, this did not stop the Huguenots from ruining the commandery in 1573.

The ancient commandery has now become a public building at the service of the village and can be visited on demand.

Pictures

Ancient hospitaller commandery in Nébian - JPEG - 137.1 kb
Ancient hospitaller commandery in Nébian

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Octon, Chapel of Notre Dame de Roubignac - JPEG - 117.1 kb
Octon, Chapel of Notre Dame de Roubignac

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Cross of the Order of Malta, Paulhan - JPEG - 246.1 kb
Cross of the Order of Malta, Paulhan

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Door of the commandery, Nébian - JPEG - 155 kb
Door of the commandery, Nébian

Crédit OT du Clermontais

 

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