Chappelle De Notre Dame Sabarts
By Bart Sharp
Located in the higher elevations of the Pyrenees Mountains on the outskirts of Tarrascon, on the main road between Foix and Andorre is Sabarts. The church stands out due to buildings that were previously standing by it were recently demolished. It currently stands with a great Pyrenees Mountain hills towering behind it and can be seen from the roundabout on the main highway.
Sabarts was built in the 7th century to commemorate a visitation of Mother Mary to King Charlemagne. The church holds its age quite well and at the same time it shows signs of the centuries making Sabarts a special place. It is also the home of shrines to a black madonna, Mary Magdalene and St Anne (Grandmother of Jesus). In addition there are photographs of several black madonnas in the area hung on the walls of the small cathedral giving Sabarts the atmosphere of “salutations to the feminine”. This church is located nearby Ussat, home of Grotte De Bethlehem (the sacred caves of the Cathors) in the Arriege Region. This area must of have been a sacred area for the Cathor people.