Nature Causse Cgrands Sites Midi Pyenees 30Nature Causse Cgrands Sites Midi Pyenees 30
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Larzac

Big spaces, big traditions and big freedom

The most famous of the Grands Causses, the Larzac plateau, is rich in exceptional landscape and history. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, within the Causses and Cévennes, Larzac offers atypical landscapes, marked by centuries of human occupation.

A geography

well-marked

Covering over 1000 km2, Le Larzac is the largest of all the Grands Causses. Mainly located in the Aveyron department, south of the Massif Central, its altitude ranges from around 600 to 900 meters.

Crossed by the A75, its natural boundaries are clear, materialized by rivers and gorges, including the Dourbie to the northeast which separates it from the causse noir and the Tarn to the northwest. Further west, its boundary is marked by the depression of Roquefort, famous for its cheese. It’s also at the foot of Larzac that the town of Millau develops, a veritable base camp from which to go on to explore the region.

A country of

limestone

Formed in the Jurassic by an ocean to which numerous fossils still bear witness, the ancient marine sediments today form the very framework of all the limestone plateaus or causses. Hundreds of thousands of years of erosion have given rise to this landscape of wide-open spaces, where sparsely populated, arid caussenard steppes alternate with strange, ruiniform rocky chaos and a few villages with characteristic architecture.

The circuit

Larzac must-sees

One day, one circuit

It’s a must-do for your vacation. Discover the Templiers et Hospitaliers du Larzac circuit! A real Templar and later Hospitaller stronghold in France, these 5 towns have retained their charm and authenticity! Just a few kilometers from the Tour du Viala du Pas de Jaux, take the opportunity to visit the Roquefort caves…

A landmark in French history:

The Templars and Hospitallers of Larzac

Larzac is also world-famous for the history of the Ordre du Temple et de l’Ordre des Hospitaliers, which to this day arouses keen interest and many questions. Witnesses to this fascinating history include Les Remparts de la Cavalerie, the particularly well-preserved fortified town of la Couvertoirade, the Commanderie de Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon, mother house of Larzac, the Tour du Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux, and the Fort de Saint-Jean d’Alcas. Most of these villages have retained their fortifications and traditional dwellings, and bear witness to the organization set up by knights in the Middle Ages to govern the agricultural activity from which they derived their income. These villages are among the best-preserved witnesses in the West to the history of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller.

Gardarem Lou Larzac!

For many, Larzac still resonates with the sound of the famous Gardarem Lou Larzac! Symbol of the peasant struggle and the non-violent civil disobedience movement against the extension of the military camp from 1971 to 1981.

In 1973, between 60,000 and 100,000 people from different currents converged on Larzac to support the peasants. The Larzac struggle was the breeding ground for what would later be known as the French altermondialist movement.

A large platter... of cheeses!

The agricultural vocation of the Larzac region dates back several millennia. From the first transhumant shepherds to today’s breeders, the close relationship between man and his environment has always been very strong and has left a lasting mark on the landscape. Shepherds, ewes and pastures lovingly watch over each other: the pastures feed the ewes, who prevent the pastures from overgrowing, and the ewes enable the men to live on these arid lands by turning to milk production. From this union will emerge an incredible assortment of cheeses, Roquefort, Pérail or other remarkable farmhouse cheeses.

Come my beautiful, come my Cazelle!

This subtle relationship between man and animal is the very basis of agropastoralism. Here, this agropastoral activity translates, among other things, into vast open expanses that allow for remarkable biodiversity and an ingenious architectural heritage (roof-tanks, lavognes, jasses, cazelles, drailles….)

This centuries-old heritage, still very much present, is remarkable in every way. As proof, since 2011 the Causses and Cévennes have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list as a living cultural landscape of Mediterranean agropastoralism.

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