Causse du Larzac

The landscapes of the Causse du Larzac are marked by the jasses (sheep pens) and the lavognes scattered on the plateau. Limestone is ubiquitous in the architecture , this stone resonates like the signature of the caussenards landscapes.

Templiers and Hospitaliers

The Ordre des Templiers

The Order of the Temple, founded in 1120 in Jerusalem, was composed of the "Knights of the Order of the Temple", both monks and knights, whose mission it was to defend the roads in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Templars were granted many donations of land that were organized into commanderies and whose income was intended for the Holy Land. Just two centuries after its creation, upon an order of King Philippe le Bel, all Templars in the kingdom were arrested under various pretexts and in 1312 the order was abolished. Quickly the Templars took possession of the Larzac plateau thanks to donations of land. They developed sheep grazing, essential to the production of Roquefort cheese.


The Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem

The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem was created in the 12th century at the same time as the Templars, near the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The order quickly turned to a military organization while retaining its original vocation of hospitality. At the demise of the Order of the Templars, the Hospitallers took command and ensured their legacy.
 

Around Nant

Saint Jean de Bruel (12230)

Between the Causses and the Cevennes, Saint- Jean du Bruel is a village with picturesque streets. Note the hall, the church, the Pont Neuf from the 18th century and the Old Bridge from the 13th century.


Nant (12230)

The territory of Nant, located at the confluence of two rivers, has been inhabited since the 10th century by a community of Benedictine monks. They installed channels still visible upstream to promote the irrigation of orchards and vineyards.
Not to miss: the Saint-Pierre Abbey 11th century and other Romanesque churches and chapels of the territory. Pont de la Prade (bridge, 14th century). Chappelle des Pénitents. The Halle Caussenarde from the 18th century.


Tourist Office
Place du Claux, 12230 Nant
Website - tel : 05 65 62 24 21.
Opening times:
December
, January and February, Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
March, April, Octoberand November: Monday to Friday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ;
May, June and September, Monday to Saturday : 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ;
July and August, every day: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Tourist Office offers guided tours of the city in July and August on Monday and Sunday mornings. (Duration: 1h30).


In the Surrounding Area

Randals Bizons
Les Randals, 30750 Lanuejols
Website - 
Tél. 04 67 82 73 74.
Adult : €7 / child : €4.60.
Open from April through October.
April, May, June, September and October : Saturday and Sunday : 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ;
July and August, open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bison ranch located on the Causse Noir. Many family activities in a western atmosphere. Restaurant on site as well (from €16.50). Accommodation possible.


Sleeping - Eating

Hôtel-Restaurant Le Midi Papillon
Place du Manège 12230 Saint Jean du Bruel
Website - tel : 05 65 62 26 04.
Room from: d. €42/ tr. €61/ q. €69.
Restaurant : "menu" from €14.

Chambres d’hôtes "L’Hermitage Saint Pierre"
Saint-Pierre de Revens, 12230 Nant (10 km from Nant on the road D991, forward Millau)
Website - tel : 05 65 42 81 57.
From €110.

The Templar Villages

The Templars and Hospitallers Tour
The audio-guided tour includes five major sites of the Causse du Larzac : The Cavalry, Sainte Eulalie de Cernon, the Viala Pas de Jaux, Saint Jean d' Alcas and The Couvertoirade. These towns, with the exception of the Cistercian fort Saint Jean d' Alcas, all belonged to the Commandery, which was founded in the 12th century by the Knights Templar.
The entrance fee includes preferential pricing for visiting the 5 sites with an audioguide. This package is sold at all information desks at the 5 sites of the "Templar and Hospitalier du Larzac." An audio guide is available in the various Tourist Offices upon presentation of the Audiopass ticket. Price : €16 for all of the sites.

La Cavalerie (12230)

The Cavalery has a rich heritage bequeathed by the Templars and the Hospitallers. The Templars Order of Sainte Eulalie established themselves here in the 12th century due to the strategic location of the site near the ancient passageway through the Larzac. The fortifications, impressive and beautifully restored, were built by the Hospitallers in the 15th century.


Tourist Office
12230 La Cavalerie
Website - tel : 05 65 62 78 73.
Opening times:
April through June: Monday to Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m./ 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
July through mid-September, daily : 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mid-September through March, Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m./ 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Tourist Office offers guided tours of the fortified village and audio guides for rent.


Sainte Eulalie de Cernon (12230)

The Templars invested in site from the 12th century, and was their first location on the plateau. Then after the fall of the Order in the 14th century, the Hospitallers developed the town. This charming village and its walls mostly date from the 15th century onward. An entire north wing with its Romanesque church and a loft tower remains from the time of the Templars. Conservation of the Commandery is exceptional and alone retraces 600 years of Larzac history.
Not to miss: The Commandery, the square and its 17th century stone fountain, the Romanesque church of the Knights Templar, the refectory and Hospitalliers’ dormitory.


Point Accueil (Tourist Office)
Place dela Fontaine, 12230 Sainte Eulalie de Cernon
Website - tel : 05 65 62 79 98.
Open daily.
March through June: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ;
July and August : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
September and October : 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Tourist Office offers guided tours of the Commandery and the village, visits with a booklet or audio tours. For children, the Tourist Office offers treasure hunts in the Commandery.


In the Surrounding Area with Children

La ferme du Frayssinet (3 km from the village)
Le Frayssinet, 12230 Sainte Eulalie de Cernon
Tel : 05 65 62 76 19.
Open from June 15th to September 15th : Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
For children: Snacks at the farm. Families will discover lambs and milking (depending on time and season), and taste the Roquefort and sheep's milk desserts. Reservations required.

Le Viala du Pas de Jaux (12250)

The village was founded by the Hospitaliers in 1315. They built a church and then in the next century, fortified the town with a 30-meter tower to serve as a refuge for the population during conflict and as a granary. Beautiful view from the terrace. Price: self-guided tour, €4. Guided tour: €5.


La Couvertoirade (12230)

The Couvertoirade reflects the military power of the Templars that were present in the 12th century. The village developed at the foot of the castle (13th century) and the church (14th century) perched on a rocky promontory. It is fortified with walls and towers from the 15th century. Be careful about children during the visit, the walkway that connects the two has no barrier.

Ranked among the most beautiful villages of France for its medieval appearance, it offers an exceptional structural heritage describing centuries of architectural influences and the occupation of the Causse. The history of the Templars, Hospitallers and Caussenards is told here in these streets surrounded by walls.

Not to miss: the village is small, but everything is a must-see, including: the church, the cemetery, the castle of the Knights Templar, the caussenardes houses, and outside the walls, the largest paved lavogne in Larzac.

In June, the Great Celebration of sheep takes place during the climb to the mountain pastures.


Information Desk
12230 La Couvertoirade
Website - tel : 05 65 58 55 59.
Open daily.
March and October : 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ;
April, May, June and September : 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ;
July and August : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Many tours are organized every day from March until November 11th by the information desk. There are many walking and hiking opportunities around the village. More information at the desk. For children: visit with a treasure hunt. Duration: 2h30 (reservations required) .


Sleeping - Eating

Hôtel-Restaurant de la Poste **
12230 La Cavalerie
Website - tel : 05 65 62 70 66.
Room from : d. €45/ tr. €59/ q. €69.
Restaurant : "menu" from €21.90.

Gîte de La Cité
12230 La Couvertoirade
Tel : 06 01 81 94 18.
Bed in dorm : €12/ person, double room : €40.
Restaurant : "menu" : €16.

Hôtel-Restaurant La Gare aux Anes **
Former train station of Comberedonde, 12230 Nant (7 km from La Couvertoirade)
Website - tel : 05 65 59 98 37.
Room from : d. €45/ tr. €60.
Restaurant : "menu" from €19.50.

Auberge La Cardabelle
12230 Sainte Eulalie de Cernon  
Tel: 05 65 62 74 64.
"Menu" from €24.

Around Roquefort

Roquefort sur Soulzon (12250)

Essential heritage of the Causses of Larzac, Roquefort cheese (from the name of the village) is the result of a deep, intimate bond among humans, animals and nature. It is here, in particular, that the legacy of centuries of agropastoralism unfolds. Although the village is of little interest, a visit the to the cellars of Roquefort should not be missed. It is there, in the rock, in a natural underground maze ventilated by fleurines (faults) that the famous blue cheese is slowly refined by the fungus "penicillium roqueforti". And thus perpetuates an ancient tradition.


Tourist Office of the Pays de Roquefort
Avenue de Lauras, 
12250 Roquefort
Website - tel : 05 65 58 56 00.
Opening times:
April, May, June, September and October, Monday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m./ 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ;
July and August, daily: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ;
November through March : Monday to Friday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m./ 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Accommodation available for visitors with disabilities. There are many marked trails around the village to discover the natural and cultural heritage of the area. Information available at the Tourist Office.


Visit the Roquefort cellars

It is quite cold in the cellars, remember to dress accordingly for visits.


Le Vieux Berger 
(free self-guided tour )
Avenue du Combalou, 12250 Roquefort
Website - tel : 05 65 59 91 48
.
Accommodation available for visitors with disabilities.


Gabriel Coulet
 (free access)
5-7 Avenue de Lauras
, 12250 Roquefort
Website - tel : 05 65 59 24 27
.


Papillon
 (free guided tour)
8 Avenue de Lauras
, 12250 Roquefort
Website - tel : 05 65 67 23 50.


Société (fee required)

Avenue François Galtier
, 12250 Roquefort
Website - tel : 05 65 58 54 38
.


Saint Jean d’Alcas (12250)

Fortified medieval village from the 15th century. Not to miss: the fort, and the church and its stained glass windows.


Syndicat d'Initiative (Tourist Office)
12250 Saint Jean d'Alcas
Website - tel : 05 65 97 61 07.
Open daily from May to October.
May, June, September and October : 10 a.m. to 12 p.m./ 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ;
July and August : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Opportunity to visit the fort with a guide, or with an audio guide (€4) . The Tourist Office also offers a guided informational walk on agro-pastoralism.

Estivales du Larzac (early August) : Summer festival, reconstitution of a medieval camp to relive the era (family activity). Program : workshops, storytelling and jousting tournament.

For children: every Friday during the summer, an activity based on the fort and on nature allows children to discover the Middle Ages. Activities upon reservation. €4 per child, with a snack.

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