La Couvertoirade Travel Guide

  • Stall holders at La Couvertoirade
    Stall holders at La Couvertoirade
    by iandsmith
  • Bringing in the sheep at La Couvertoirade
    Bringing in the sheep at La...
    by iandsmith
  • Ancient gravestones
    Ancient gravestones
    by iandsmith

La Couvertoirade Things to Do

  • Le Caylar

    North of Lodève the current village huddles against the outcrop of Roc-Castel (752 m). Located on the northern edge of the department of Herault, it marks the border with the Aveyron department, starting a few miles away in La Pezade. This is the door of the Larzac plateau and the last station on the plateau, before descending to the Lodévois.It...

  • Thoughts on La Couvertoirade

    An intact surrounding wall of round and square towers connected by a rampart walk is what you get and this allows you to imagine what a mediaeval city was like.Hordes of tourists invade this historic spot, but idling in the cobbled streets and shops permits an authentic understanding of the excitement of the Middle Ages marketplace. On the ground...

  • Left overs

    I took quite a few pictures and it seemed a shame to waste them so I've included them here.You'll see the south portal, little used these days; the ruins of the barbican; more from the church and a couple of other scenes.

  • Scipione House

    The "hôtel particulier de la Scipione" (Scipione house) was built in the XVIIth century. It is now the tourist information center for your visit to La Couvertoirade. Here you can get a free laminated map and also access the ramparts.It is also the seat of the Association "les amis de La Couvertoirade" (Friends of La Couvertoirade) that is...

  • Just a plane tree that can't fly

    At the entrance there's a plane tree that would bring a spot of shade during the hottest days. Plane trees need a lot of water to grow and are frequent here, despite the fact that in summer the Larzac plateau is dry. The trees survive because there is plenty of water in the porous rock beneath the soil, not visible at the surface.

  • The windmill

    When you pull up in the carpark you can see it on the hill in the distance and it seems to pop up from time to time wherever you stroll around here.There's a 500 metre walk up to it from where I guess you'd get excellent views but, unfortunately, time and company didn't allow me to go the extra metre so to speak.

  • The church

    The original Saint-Christophe church at La Couvertoirade was built in the 11th century but, since then, a more recent restoration from the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century has replaced it. Part of the church is built into the rock and its tower, which also forms part of the ramparts, was built in the 15th century. Outside the...

  • Walking the ramparts

    It might pay to keep an eye on the kids if you're on the rampart, for there is no barrier but it reeks of authenticity and gives an excellent oversight of the village and an insight into how it might have been defended as well as how cramped it was.To get there you need to go to the tourist office and that gives you access to the tower on the left...

  • Before you arrive

    After the sheep we wandered off towards the village. On the way there are several stalls and, just on one side, a sculptor's showroom. I heartily recommend you check the latter out, there are some lovely works on display inside and they speak English. Heavens, they've even travelled to Australia, how could I not like them!

  • Climb up to the old village walls

    From top you have a good view to the ancient gardens that the village dwellers used to have. You can really easily imagine being teleported in time back to the 12th century.

  • Close up on typical covers

    This picture gives a close up on two typical covers. On the right, the Roman tiles, found around the whole Mediterranean and called here ''tige the botte'' (boot stick). On the left ''lauze'', which are slabs of local stones.

  • General view of la Couvertoirade from...

    This picture shows a general view of la Couvertoirade from the city wall. It is really impressive to be "over the walls" while the city looks and sounds so calm. There is not a single car engine roaring inside and only a few visitors strolling around !

  • The round tower and the square tower...

    The round tower and the square tower are seen here from further on the wall. The passage on the city wall is narrow and it is not always easy to cross other peoples! This walk is impressive but perfectly safe as there is on the outside a wall that protected the defenders from the bullets of enemies and on the inside a strong railing !

  • One of the "corners" of the city wall

    This picture shows the city wall between the two main towers, the round tower and the square tower, with a view of the landscape outside of the city. In spring, the Larzac plateau is very green and there is plenty of food for the flocks of sheep that will give their milk for the Roquefort cheese. But as soon as summer arrives, everything is dry and...

  • View of the church from the city wall

    Now that we are walking on the city wall, the landscape on the old city of La Couvertoirade is very different. This picture was shot from the city wall, towards the churchyard and over the city roofs.

  • On top the city wall

    On top the city wall, this passage allowed the soldiers to walk from one end of the city wall to the other, protected from the view and from the attacks of enemies. This is what Romans built on each of the edges of their empire. I have seen exactly the same structure in southern Tunisia, on the "limes" of the Roman Empire.

  • Pigeons nesting inside the round tower

    Pigeons are nesting inside the round tower. Sorry, it was rather dark and the picture cannot be very good ! If you enlarge the picture and look carefully, you will see the nest arranged inside the wall and a few pigeons.

  • View of La Couvertoirade across a window...

    This picture gives a view of La Couvertoirade across a window grid, when going up to the city wall. The stair is very steep and you must pay attention of the visitors you will have to get across in the stairs. The landscape on the old city is magnificent.

  • The Scipione house and the stairs

    The "hôtel particulier de la Scipione" (Scipione house) is now the information center for visiting La Couvertoirade. It is there that you pay for having access to the round tower and to the city wall. Beware, the stairs are steep !

  • Hôtel particulier de la Scipione

    The "hôtel particulier de la Scipione" (Scipione house) was built in the XVIIth century. It is now the welcome and information center for the visit of La Couvertoirade. It is also the seat of the Association "les amis de La Couvertoirade" (Friends of La Couvertoirade) which works permanently to keep the village as a true and living village and not...

  • Private house

    A sign is posted at the bottom of the stairs and says "private, do not visit". If that was necessary, that shows well that this is not a fancy old village for tourists only but a real village with real people and that some of them, at least are not concerned at all by tourists !

  • House with a mullioned window

    This house with a typical mullioned window has no plants growing on its front but the house dog is keeping it ! And it is paying much attention to our (small) dog ! A potential enemy ! Ready to defend home if it is necessary !

  • Flourished vaulted house

    In the same street, not far from the stone staircased house, this vaulted windows house, closer to the entrance is most evidently well groomed and inhabited. The vines on its front are growing great as well as the climbing rose tree.

  • Old house with stairs covered with...

    In La Couvertoirade all the houses are not inhabited. However, there is a good deal of them. Unlike some old villages which seem lively but that actually have only shops for tourists and only the shopkeepers staying there during the season when the tourists are there, in La Couvertoirade, real families live all year round.For example, in this old...

  • Near the main entrance

    Near the main entrance, a craftsman sells ''shepherd's bags'' made of sheep's skin from the Larzac plateau. In la Couvertoirade, there are only a few shops and they do not sell this kind of crap imported "articraft" that is too often found in touristy places. Until now, La Couvertoirade remains a "true" place.

  • General view of La Couvertoirade

    This picture shows a general view of La Couvertoirade, seen from the Churchyard. On the right is the main city wall with the round tower and the square tower. If you enlarge the picture, you will see in the background another part of the city wall with visitors on top. That gives an idea of the size of the wall !

  • The ancient stronghold

    The ancient Templars' stronghold is half destroyed. On this picture, it is shown from the Churchyard. Though it has lost two levels it remains still very impressive. There was a very small chapel in the dungeon.

  • Grave of pilgrin or of villager ? 4

    The last one gravestone is also a circular stone with a short stem. This is the shape that occurs the most often in La Couvertoirade. The carving is very different. A large "patted cross" is sitting in the middle of the stone and fills the whole space. This is what is called the Templars' cross. In this case it could be called a "croix tréflée"...

  • Grave of pilgrim or of villager ? 3

    This one too his made of a circular stone with a short but wide stem. The circular part of the gravestone is divided into four quarters, drawing a cross. Each of the two top ones is carved with crosses again. Each of the bottom quarters is carved with a circle.

  • Grave of a pilgrim or of a villager ? 2

    Each has a carving of its own and this one has a circular stone with a stem. On the stone, a cross is carved in the center while around, lines seem to symbolize the beams of the sun.Is it the grave of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrim, of an Hospitaller or of villager ? It is impossible to be sure but the aureole around the cross looks like a...


La Couvertoirade Restaurants

  • Don't forget to look at the menu !

    For 18.50 €, you can chose between :Salade campagnarde aux pescadous ou jambon cru et son beurre de brebis ou Feuilleté au Roquefort et leur sauce ou Saucisse et Pâté au RoquefortTruite au Roquefort et aux noix, oupavé de Dorade à la Provençale ou Pavé d'agneau à la fleur de Thym ou Tripoux (panses, fraise de veau)Panaché de légumes ou...

  • Another style

    For 15.50 €, you can chose between :Salade paysanne ou Terrine de lapin à l'ancienne ou Jambonneau Aveyronnais ou Cake au Roquefort et aux noix.Choux farci ou Confit de poule ou Truite à l'oseille ou Tripoux (panses, fraise de veau)Panaché de légumes ou FritesFromageFruit ou Sorbet I feel that I would rather have been to the "Auberge de la...

  • What a charming surrounding !

    On the 18€ menu you will have to choose between the following :Terrine de légumes ou Pâté aveyronnais ou Farçum aux herbes (épinard et chair à saucisse) ou Terrine de campagne ou Tranche de jambon de pays.Confit de canard ou Côte de mouton grillée au feu de bois ou Tranche de gigot de mouton grillée au feu de bois.Chèvre chaudCrème brulée ou Flaune...


La Couvertoirade General

  • Exit the Knights Templar

    La Couvertoirade was one crucial point in the Templar system and Larzac, with its grain plantations on the south of the plateau, constituted one of the great properties, to the extent that it was baptised "la plaine du temple" (the temple plain).The name "Templar" comes from the temple in Jerusalem that they originally undertook to defend.The...

  • Background

    At the end of the 12th century, the Templar Commander of Saint Eulalie-de-Cernon ordered the construction of a castle.Later, in the 14th century, the Knights of Saint John built the church. In the following century, they erected the fortified enclosure, whose towers and walls are still intact today.However, the Knights eventually ended up at their...

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