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Discover Aveyron

Situated in the Southwestern corner of the Massif Central, Aveyron is a land of awe-inspiring landscapes and a rich cultural tapestry.

Natural Wonders

This captivating department is adorned with deep gorges carved by the meandering Lot and Tarn rivers, making it a haven for canoeing enthusiasts. Vast plateaux, adorned with unique wildflowers, spread across the region. To the North, the Aubrac region is renowned for its wild cattle, celebrated for their flavorful beef, while in the southern part of the department, sheep farming dominates.

Cultural Legacy

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Aveyronnais seeking greener pastures embarked on journeys to California and Argentina, leaving their mark on distant lands. The influence also flowed the other way, as loggers spending winters in Catalonia introduced the Catalan "Navaja" knife, inspiring Pierre-Jean Camels to create the famous "Laguiole" knife, a symbol of Aveyron. Roquefort cheese, a world-famous blue cheese made from ewes' milk, matures in limestone caves for three months, producing a culinary masterpiece. Casanova and Voltaire themselves praised this cheese, protected since 1925 and exclusive to the Roquefort region.

Gothic Splendor

Rodez, the department's capital, is a treasure trove of Gothic architecture dating from the 12th to the 16th century. The awe-inspiring Cathedral of Notre-Dame graces the city with its magnificent bell tower, crowned by a towering statue of the Virgin Mary, standing tall at 87 meters, overlooking the ancient city. This bell tower played a pivotal role in the invention of the Metric system during the French Revolution when scientists Delambre and M?chain met at the Rodez cathedral's Bell Tower to measure a tiny fraction of the Earth's meridian.

Culinary Delights

Culinary delights abound, with regional specialties like Aligot, a rich puree of Tomme cheese and mashed potatoes, and Estofinado, salt cod cooked in walnut oil, gracing local tables. Wines from Estaing, d?Entraygues, Fel, and Marcillac complement these dishes, while walnut quince or plum eau-de-vie often conclude a sumptuous meal.

Rich History

The Aveyron bears the imprint of numerous cultures and historical periods, beginning with the prehistoric Chasseens, who inhabited its limestone caves. Subsequent centuries saw the arrival of Barbarians, Visigoths, Moors, Vikings, and the English during the Hundred Years' War, each leaving their mark. The Knights Templar also exerted their influence here, leaving a rich legacy of monuments, including dolmens, Menhirs, fortresses, castles, abbeys, and churches. Among the architectural gems is the exquisite Abbey at Silvanes, conceived in the 12th century for the Cistercians.

Beautiful Villages

Aveyron proudly boasts nine of France's "plus beaux villages" (most beautiful villages), a distinction held by more villages here than in any other French department. Among them, Belcastel, with its charming Chateau, Conques, home to an exquisite Abbey, the quaint half-timbered village of Sauveterre-de-Rouergue, and Najac, graced with a 13th-century royal fortress perched dramatically atop a rocky promontory, are just a few examples. The department also features 23 castles on the routes of the "Seigneurs de Rouergue," open to the public.


Nearest Airports: Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier

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