This Black Madonna is difficult to
visit because her church is locked unless mass is being celebrated.
The town hall (la mairie) has the key but usually only opens the
church for groups. If you can convince them otherwise, someone will
watch you in the church till you’re done.
Yet, even if you can’t get into the church of the Black Madonna,
her village is worth a visit because of its healing waters. First
there is a « fairy well » right below the church, which
runs delicious drinking water. Then there is the community laundry
pool, fed by a hot spring that still is used by the village women.
Finally you’ll find the Roman Baths, i.e. sulfurous hot springs,
that may be in use since prehistoric times. They are open 8:45 a.m.
to 8 p.m. and cost 6.- euros to get in. Here you can stew in the
juices of Mother Earth - who is not separate from our divine Mother.
Also there are plenty of other Black Madonna churches within minutes:
(both open all day, every day) Hix (closed,
but there's a number one can call and ask for it to be opened),
and Puigcerda across the border in Spain
(only open during two daily masses), as well as other hot springs
in Llo and Saint Thomas.