Gorges de Galamus

The Gorges de Galamus as seen from St. Paul, near Le Chapitre, in 2014.

Over a hundred years ago, a narrow roadway through the Gorges de Galamus was carved into the sheer stone wall dozens of meters above the Agly at great cost and with even greater ingenuity. A poem in Occitan was written in honor of the builders:

Dins aquel roc pelat que trauco la sabino

Oun l’aglo dins soun bol gausabo soul beni

Penjat per un courdel ambe la barromino

L’home coumo l’ausel a troubat un cami

—Léones Rives, “Dedication, 1892”

In this riven rock where sprouts the juniper  

Where only the eagle in flight dared to come

Hanging by a rope with his blasting powder

The man, like the bird, found a way home

—Trans. by R Young


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