La Couvertoirade, the charm of a Templar village in southern France

Templar village La Couvertoirade in southern France

Sometimes the reference to a town or city is presented as a topic «moved to medieval times«.

In many cases it is a true statement, and I will only cite as an example medieval villages how Najac or Cordes sur Ciel of the Occitania region to the South of France.

But in my most recent trip to Occitania I have discovered The Couvertoirade, town of which after a first walk through its streets the following question arose: how is it possible that it has remained so native?

Entrance arch to La Couvertoirade in Occitania in southern France

I'll tell you first The Couvertoirade it is a very small town that was founded in the early 12th century from a Templar castle.

History of La Couvertoirade

By then The Couvertoirade depended on another nearby Templar people, Santa Eulalia de Cernon.

When the Order of the Templars it was suspended in 1313 by the Pope Clement V by the pressures of King France, The Coivertoirade passed to the Hospitallers Order, now known as the Order of Malta.

Fully walled, there are currently only 25 residents residing in the inner wall, which was built by the Hospitallers in the fifteenth century during the Hundred Years War.

Entrance to La Couvertoirade in Occitania in southern France

Their uniform stone houses, with wooden windows and roofs with red tiles or slate, extend through narrow alleys and small squares, and in The Couvertoirade there is no missing church or the remains of the aforementioned castle.

In addition, the town has not spread outside the wall.

In its surroundings you will only see a few country houses, as well as the isolated building of the town hall, located in front of the portico of the main entrance to the walled enclosure.

Up to there you will not be able to arrive with your vehicle, because previously you will have to leave it in a large paid parking area enabled for the very numerous visitors (3 euros the full day) that this town receives every day, especially on weekends and holiday time.

The Couvertoirade You will find it near the small town of Millau, now known for its impressive viaduct, in the department of Aveyron.

Church of Sant Christophe in La Couvertoirade in France

It is located in the karst plateau of Lazac, at natural park of the Great Causses (plateaus).

What to see and do in La Couvertoirade

When you visit the inside of the wall during your visit, you must stroll through its narrow streets looking for beautiful corners.

In this way you will see buildings and corners that date back to the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

For example, you will see an old medieval oven which has now been revived and on weekends it works like a bread oven.

You will also find several craft shops and small restaurants, which in the summer months and on weekends have a great atmosphere, because it is a town quite visited by tourists.

La Couvertoirade in Occitania in southern France

Of course, at other times of the year I imagine it completely empty ... even after 6 pm on any day of the year.

Saint Christophe church in La Couvertoirade

On your walk you will reach the church of Saint-Christophe, which was built in the fourteenth century next to the castle, already within the walls, since since the eleventh century there was a small church outside the walls.

With a unique gothic-style ship, your attention will catch your attention cemetery Attached, where you can see some stone steles with Templar crosses, replicas of the originals that are preserved in a museum.

La Couvertoirade Castle

He castle of La Couvertoirade It is privately owned.

Church of Sant Christophe in La Couvertoirade in France

If you are curious, and coinciding with your excursion the owner is in it, you can visit (5 euros) its small enclosure and see a room with panels that tell the history of the templars and the hospital in that region.

Walls of La Couvertoirade

And, of course, you shouldn't stop climb to the wall to travel part of it.

To do this you must access through the interior of theTourist Office of La Couvertoirade, which opens in the months of July and August, from 10 to 19 hours.

He price of the free visit of the wall It is 3 euros for adults and 2 euros for children 6 to 18 years.

Walls of the Templar village of La Couvertoirade in southern France

If you prefer you can also sign up for guided tours of La Couvertoirade, whose price is 6.50 euros, which with an hour and a half duration already include the walk through the wall, and you can book at the email [email protected]

And you also have the option of a visit by town and walls with a audio guide, whose price is 5 euros.

In sum, a medieval corner really amazing whose visit I advise you as essential in a car route through Occitania.

Photos of La Couvertoirade

Here you have more photos of the Templar village of La Couvertoirade, to visit in the department of Aveyronin the region of Occitania, south of France.

How to get to La Couvertoirade

You find The Couvertoirade one hour drivenorthwest of Montepellier, south of France.

Video: The French City of Couvertoirade Fortress with Knights Templar Castle Inside (November 2019).