n abbey was built on the site of the tomb of St Léonard in the early 11th century. A village naturally developed around it.
Worshipers from all origins came over the centuries to the abbey of Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat in order to invoke the holy man.
This included barren women and families of prisoners of course.
However, it also included kings and queens such as Richard the Lionheart, Charles VII and Anne of Austria to name a few.
The pilgrimage remained very popular through the centuries because of Saint-Leonard. The other reason is that the abbey stood along the Voie Lemovicensis, the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela.
The Collegiate Church of Saint-Leonard is today a classified Historical Monument.
UNESCO ranked it as a World Heritage Site of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in 1998.
It is indeed a superb illustration of Romanesque architecture.
The 'Limousin’ style bell tower is open on two sides.
It consists of two square floors topped with two octagonal floors.
The church contains the tomb of Saint-Leonard, which is protected by a prisoner’s chain.
The tradition is that barren women and those wishing to conceive must touch the lock.