|About Gorges du Tarn (in Lozere)
The stunningly beautiful Gorges du Tarn in the Cevennes National Park is squeezed between 2 large expanses of flat limestone hilltop plateau. One to the south is called the Causse Mejean (which seperates the River Tarn from the Gorges de la Jonte). The other to north is the Causse de Sauveterre. It is a land of barren rocks. lush hamlets, woods, with plenty of caves and potholes thrown in. A landscape that has provided hiding places for Protestants, Catholics, and Aristocrats escape the various wars of France.
A castle has been here since the 13th Century. The present Chateau dates from 1652. In 1976 it was renovated and became the main information center for the Cevennes National Park, with gift and book shop, as well as a permanent exhibition area. See more about Florac
Busy little village, fortified in the 15th century, with pretty bridge, and Romanesque church and Benedictine priory; also gothic houses, and 17th C chateau. The dome in the church is one of the most beautiful in Gévaudan. Great place to buy strawberries, peaches and cherries - as they are grown locally. "Virtual visit of Ispagnac"
Visit for a change a bottling plant - spring water naturally fizzy, with a sweet taste rich in bicarbonates, sodium, calcium and magnesium. From 1500 BC there have been water worshipers in the area (druids). Later in Medieval times (up to the present day) processions following a black virgin (apparently found in a nearby field) protected the area against ill health and the plague. In the 18th century, the health qualities of the water to cure
digestive system, vascular and urinary problems were attested too, and by 1859 became a commercial enterprise distributed to the health industry. In 1989 Vittel became interested and set up a large source on the other side of the river to Quezac - that now supplies about 90 million bottles a year! Guided tours are available (in French, German, and English) that visit the original water source and building, as well as the new bottling plant. Visit Eau de Quessac or see more information about Quezac
Dating from the 9th century, the hillside village, perched above the River Tarn has ruins of a castle, as well as the 13th century
Château de Charbonnières. It has a lovely historic bridge as well as a 12th century church. Visit the local museum - L'Amelio, at the Marie, for fossils and local history items.
A pretty village, with 16th century chateau, overlooking the Tarn gorges. The vineyards have had great reputation since 1280, when they were part of the monastery of Sainte Enimie.
It is one of the most beautiful villages in France and owes its origin to a monastery built in the sixth century. It is named after Enimie, sister of King Dagobert who was cured of leprosy at a nearby spring. You can wander the narrow old streets paved with cobbles taken from the River Tarn, past medieval buildings including 13th century Benedictin priory with Romanesque Chapel, visit the small local museum, the 14th century church, and breathe in the atmosphere. Then if you like take a boat on the river to La Malene. Visit nearby Utopix, in Champerboux, where a eccentric builder has created a guadiesque series of buildings and animals. Or look in at Hameau de Castelbouc with its feudal castle under the cliffs.
Saint Chely du Tarn
Beneath towering cliffs the village is situated next to a good looking 19 C bridge, where the church at Saint Chely, dates from the 12th C with Gothic doorway and the village has houses with Renaissance decorations. Search out the mill where you will find a picturesque Romanesque chapel at a water source, where it comes out of the hillside.
Squeezed between steep rock faces, the small village of La Malene, has a 15th C Chateau Hotel, once home to the family of Montesquiou, as well as a Romanesque church. Its specialty is canoe trips on the river Tarn. Access is by paths once used by the flocks of sheeps that accessed the water from the upper pastures.
A pleasant 18th C village, on the sunny side of a wider part of the valley - offering a number of campsites, and hotel accommodation with a good range of activities from
hiking on mountain trails, to renting a canoe, raft, horse or a donkey, swimming, tennis, bowls, to fishing
A town at the confluence of the River Tarn and River Jonte, from the 2nd century AD, Le Rozier was an important ceramic center, supplying the Roman market.
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