La Couvertoirade. Larzac plateau, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, South France. Knights Templar Fortified Town

One of the most beautiful villages in France - now home to artists, craftsmen (pottery weaving jewellery etc)

la couvertoirade, south france

The Knights Templar fortified village of La Couvertoirade, on the Larzac Plateau, near the Millau Viaduct, Aveyron.

A relatively short drive (30 minutes, 38kms) from the Millau Viaduct bridge, by Norman Foster - the tallest bridge in the world (37 meters shorter than the Empire State Building), by taking exit 48 (signposted to Le Vigan, Cornus, Alzon), one reaches the Knights Templar Castle and fortified village of La Courvertoirade - one of the most beautiful villages in France, that was built in the 12th and 13th centuries.

La Couvertoirade was at an important site in the Templar organization and Larzac, with its fields creating cereal and grain on the plateau, constituted one of its most important properties, known as "la plaine du temple" (the temple plain). The castle was built in 1249 by the Templars and for seven centuries La Couvertoirade would shelter the Knight Templars and later the Hospitaliers, who took over Templar property after 1312.

That year signalled the abolition of the Templar Order, after a plot manipulated by King Philippe-le-Bel.

Nowadays the village has become a mecca for artists, artisans creating everything - pottery, painting, jewellery, etc. At times it seems like a veritable Lourdes with a shop here and there milking the tourist at every bend. However there is magic and beauty amongst the money makers; and the village is well worth exploring.