Lanterne des morts

Yesterday I visited the “lanterne de morts” in the village of St. Pierre.  I have always loved this monument. It was constructed in the 12th century in order to honor the souls of the dead. In previous centuries, every time a soul left this earth, the lantern was lit at the top of the monument.

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There are many monuments like this in cemeteries through-out France, but the one in St. Pierre is the tallest in the country.

No one knows for sure who commissioned the lantern des morts to be constructed. No one knows for sure why it is three times taller than other monuments of the same type in France. The only thing we do know for sure is that it stands tall even today, almost one thousand years after its construction.