Visit La Couvertoirade (Midi-Pyrenees, France)
The village has played an important role in this part of the Midi-Pyrenees since the 13th century when the castle was built by a chapter of the medieval Knights Templar located here which played a key role in the development of the village.
By the 15th century the village was in the hands of the Hospitaliers who took over from the teplars when they were banned in 1312. These hospitaliers built the ramparts, and La Couvertoirade continued to be an important local centre until the 17th century - hence most houses here date from the 15th to 17th centuries.
Exploring La Couvertoirade
Much of the castle in La Couvertoirade and the ramparts and towers of the fortified village still exist in very good condition, and it is one of the finest medieval fortified villages that can be found in France. The ramparts and the incorporated towers, some square and some round, still encircle the village.
Although the castle was constructed by the templar knights at the end of the 12th century, the Saint-Christophe church dates from the 14th century and the presence of the Knights of Saint John. Take a look at the church cemetery which is cut in two by the fortifications that were built subsequently - part of the cemetery is inside the walls and part outside.
The remainder of La Couvertoirade and the fortifications were then built a few decades later. The walk around the top of the ramparts is unmissable for the views it provides both across the rooftops of the town and the countryside.
You can access the walk, called the 'Chemin de Ronde', via one of the grandest houses in the village. This is the 15th century Maison de la Scipione, built against the ramparts and once home to an important nobleman, and where you can also see an exhibition about the history of the village.
Back down in the village itself there are numerous very picturesque stone houses, with all streets eventually leading to the central square with cafes and in which musical events sometimes take place.
One particular feature you will see as you explore the village within the walls is the number of houses that have an external stone staircase leading to the first floor, originally used for habitation, while the ground floor was kept for livestock. This traditional layout has been retained, although the ground floor is now more likely to be used as a gallery, restaurant or artisan workshop.
Ideally to really get a feel for the La Couvertoirade in days gone by try and visit in the early morning or outside the summer peak months since La Couvertoirade is very popular with visitors.
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for La Couvertoirade
La Couvertoirade is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Couvertoirade, Nant, Millau, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, 12230 || GPS: latitude 43.912, longitude 3.3161
Map of La Couvertoirade & places nearby
Highlights close by
Lunas and area 17km
Le Vigan 25km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near La Couvertoirade, France
- Cirque de Vissec - site of natural beauty (12km)
- Cirque de Navacelles - grand site of france (16km)
- Lodeve - recommended detour (20km)
- Chaos de Montpellier-le-Vieux - site of natural beauty (25km)
- Abîme de Bramabiau - site of natural beauty (26km)
- St Guilhem le Desert ancienne abbaye (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (27km)
- Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert / Gorges de l'Herault - grand site of france (27km)
- Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert - most beautiful village (27km)
- Valle du Salagou - grand site of france (29km)
- Grands Causses - regional natural parc (30km)
The French version of this page is at La Couvertoirade (Francais)