We are often asked the history behind the dolls in Campan village. Today we stopped and had a walk round, took some pictures and picked up an information leaflet to find out more.In years gone by, when a man of the Campan valley decided to marry under not normal circumstances, eg an old widower marrying a young girl, he was the object of very rough mockery. The couple would be represented by coarse dolls, known as ‘les Mounaques’, this word is derived from the Occitan language ‘monaca’, meaning doll or puppet.
The tradition now is just to decorate Campan village as a tourist attraction.
Yesterday we paid our second visit to the monument of The Maquis de Meilhan that marks a battle that took place on the night of July 6/7 in 1944, it was between a group of French Resistance fighters and German soldiers. A group of 100 had gathered at two abandoned farms, their presence was notified to the German forces and the farm was surrounded and a fierce battle raged for more than three hours and the Maquis (a name given to French Resistance fighter of the second world war) were overwhelmed. 4 hostages were taken from nearby farms, who were not involved with the group, and executed also 3 Maquis were taken to Lannemezan and executed. There were 76 victims in total, their ages ranged from 17 to 70.
The monument consists of two small farmhouses, a memorial tower, a cemetery and a sculpture that describes what happened at this place on that night in 1944.
If this is of interest to you please let us know and we can give you directions to the location.