The surroundings

Saint Izaire

Saint Izaire is a medieval village of the South of the Aveyron, situated in the heart of the rougiers on the banks of Dourdou, Saint Izaire is dominated by his impressive episcopal castle of the XIVth century.

At random streets and alleys, we can discover numerous former(ancient), certain houses with mullioned windows dating XVth and XVIth centuries.

At feet of the village, the banks of Dourdou wait you for the line fishing and, not far from there, for a sporting space and for leisure activities, for area of games(sets) and picnic, soccer field, tennis and village hall. Today, the municipality is a part of the association of local authorities of St-Affricain.

The castle saw again(revised) and we can visit him(it). One of the rooms is dedicated to abbot Hermet, the other one to statues-menhirs... ...

Walks around Saint Izaire

We invite you to discover our walks

Chateau de Saint Izaire

The Château de Saint-Izaire is a 14th century episcopal castle in the commune of Saint-Izaire in the Aveyron département of France. Since 1991 it has been classified as a historical monument (French: monument historique). It is maintained by an association known as Vie et Château (Life and Castle), who have created a mini museum on the premises to record the history of the castle and the inhabitants of the village of Saint-Izaire.

The Château de Saint-Izaire is one of a group of 23 castles in Aveyron who have joined together to provide a tourist itinerary as the Route des Seigneurs du Rouergue.

The castle is a massive quadrangular red stone building that shelters the town hall of the village of Saint-Izaire. The structure is supported by a keep-tower in the southern wing (partially demolished since the 19th century). This keep contains mural frescoes dating from the 14th century, and the ceiling in the room of the bishops in the Baroque style of the 17th century. The castle was built by Guillaume Rotlindes, ancestor of the current Rollinde de Beaumont. It was intended as a gift to the Abbey of Vabres, close to the commune of Saint-Affrique: the deed attesting the gift is preserved to the present day. The castle was often used as a summer residence by the abbey. When the cathedral and palace of Vabres were razed in the wars of religion, the castle was used by refugees from the abbey.

The Cathedral of Sainte Cécile, a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style presents a startling contrast between its austere, defensive exterior and its sumptuous interior decoration. Built as a statement of the Christian faith after the upheavals of the Cathar heresy , this gigantic brick structure was embellished over the centuries : the Dominique de Florence Doorway , the 78m high bell tower the Baldaquin over the entrance (1515 – 1540).

A living museum of Christian art Zoom

Inside, the frescoes of the vault , full of colour, are the work of Italian Renaissance painters (1509 – 1513). The painting of the Last Judgment (1474-84) provides a marvelous "cartoon strip" vision of Heaven, Earth and Hell. Executed using the tempera technique, it originally covered more than 200m2. It was mutilated in the 18th century when the central part was completely destroyed to give access to the chapel in the base of the bell tower.

Some facts:

  • Construction work took : 200 years, from 1282 to 1480

  • Exterior dimensions : 113m long by 35m wide, 40m high, 78m high bell-tower

  • The largest painted cathedral in Europe, thanks to the Renaissance paintings of the vault, which are contemporary with the Sistine Chapel

  • The largest group of mediaeval sculptures in southern France 

This imposing fortress was completed at the end of the 13th century . It was both the temporal and spiritual manifestation of the Bishops of Albi. It is particularly interesting from the architectural point of view:

  • an enormous keep, 50m high, flanked at the four corners by towers, three of which are solid throughout,

  • walls 7 metres thick at the base,

  • ramparts..

Over the centuries, the Bishops transformed this stronghold into an elegant residence with a slate roof. They created vast reception rooms, terraces and French-style gardens masking the bulky appearance of the building, and added a Renaissance wing.

Viaduc de Millau

A record viaduct
The Millau viaduct is the outcome of an amazing history. From its design to its construction, hundreds of men have given their energy and ingenuity to take part in this unique structure. At the peak of the work, nearly 600 employees were working on the site. They mastered the most modern technologies (laser, GPS…) to control the construction of this steel and concrete giant to the nearest millimetre. And it only took three years, from December 2001 to December 2004. 

Record figures

  • Length: 2,460 m
  • Width: 32 m
  • Maximum height: 343 m, or 19 m higher than the Eiffel Tower
  • Slope: 3.025 %, going up from north to south in the direction Clermont-Ferrand – Béziers
  • Curve: 20 km
  • Height of the tallest pier (P2): 245 m
  • Height of the pylons: 87 m
  • Number of piers: 7
  • Length of the spans: Two end spans of 204 m each and six central spans of 342 m each.
  • Number of stays: 154 (11 pairs per pylon laid out in one mono-axial layer)
  • Tension of the stays: from 900 t to 1 200 t for the longest
  • Weight of the steel deck: 36 000 t, or 5 times that of the Eiffel Tower
  • Volume of concrete: 85 000 m3, or 206 000 t
  • Cost of the construction: 400 M€
  • Contract duration: 78 years – 3 years for construction and 75 years of operations
  • Structural guarantee: 120 years


Roquefort is first mentioned in 1070 in the context of the Carolingian period. At the end of the Middle Ages, its reputation extends to the Mediterranean regions (Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier). In the XVth Century, under Charles VI, the refining of the cheese becomes the monopoly of the people of Roquefort and the caves are granted a protected status. In turn, Charles VII grants the people of Roquefort another privilege: in 1666, the Parliament of Toulouse votes a decree allowing for the sanction of producers of fake Roquefort cheese.

Roquefort, “the land where neither vineyards nor corn will grow”. Traders of false Roquefort are punishable by the 1666 decision of the Parliament of Toulouse. During the Age of the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Diderot attributes the title “King of Cheeses” to Roquefort cheese.

In the XIX Century, many ambassadors’ and consuls’ reports state that Roquefort contributes – in much the same way as Champagne – to the notoriety of France in the United States.

Roquefort cheese becomes internationally renown in the XX Century. It is the first cheese to be granted, in 1925, the title Appellation d’Origine – ‘label of origin’, a mark or guarantee of quality; in 1951, at the International Convention of Stresa, Roquefort is confirmed as an Appellation d’Origine on an international level.

Today, Roquefort is recognized throughout Europe as an Appellation d’Origine Protégée, a ‘protected label of origin’. The terms of production are precisely set up by the Designation Decrees of January 22nd, 2001 and May 17th, 2005.

Les causses de Larzac

Steppes and calcareous rocks of Larzac as far as the eye can see … Dry and of lunar aspect, it is the kingdom of the big spaces, strewed with lawns rich in orchids (devèzes) and with rocks ruiniformes (rajals). Here you are on the tray (plateau) of Larzac, the vastest of the Big Limestone plateaus, trained (formed) in the Jurassic by the slow sedimentation at the bottom of a formerly tropical ocean … …

Les rougiers de Camarès
Rougier of Camarès is a natural region of the Aveyron (France) which has for peculiarity to have a ground established (constituted) by argilites red, because rich in crisp and iron oxide. It confers on the region of the unusual landscapes. This region includes an association of local authorities of the same name. Rougier de Camarès is situated in the South of the department of the Aveyron between the Limestone plateau of Larzac (in the East), the river Tarn (in the North) and the mounts of Lacaune (in the South and in the East). He owes his name to the city of Camarès which is situated in the heart of the rougier. Rougier de Camarès is crossed (gone through) by Dourdou which winds between hills of brick red color.


La vallée du Tarn

St. Izaire Brousse le Chateau Broquiès



Auberge de la Valette
Mme Moser Valérie & Mr Schneider Christian
Place de la Bascule
12480 St. Izaire
Tél: 0565 97 57 78
GPS: 43.97476 , 2.72085

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