Let’s stroll through the villages – continued


Lamontélarié was one of the three parishes constituting the community of Anglès which then extended over a large part of the present commune of Le Soulié. Perched at an altitude of 800 m in the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc, surrounded by deciduous and coniferous forests as well as vast meadows, it
is a haven of peace for the walker. At the bend of a path, under the canopy of trees, the ruins of the hamlet of Sicardens are revealed.
About twenty families lived there during the 19th century, in small houses with broom roofs and dirt floors. They were poor and the men had to rent their arms. They were called “les Brassiers”. In 1870, an epidemic of coal fell on the hamlet and decimated its population. The hamlet fell asleep but the stone has kept its
memory… Lamontélarié is a typical mountain village with its slate roof houses and its church Sainte Marie-Madeleine from the 17th century. Its location on the edge of the Raviège lake with the hamlet of Rouquié, is a delight for water sports enthusiasts , and the limpid waters of its streams, for fishermen. The peculiarity of its wetlands with its peat bogs (Sagnes), rich in exceptional flora and fauna, allows ecological
enthusiasts to discover, only a few dozen kilometers from the Mediterranean scrubland, an original ecosystem.

Must-see : the village and Sainte Marie-Madeleine Church,  the hiking “La Montéliote” (14km), Sicardens (a stopover from the hiking “La Montéliote”, “La Sagne des Baysses” path, le Rouquié and its equipments, La Raviège lake.


Sitting on its rocky spur nestled in the meander of the Agout river, the village of La Salvetat has had blue slate roofs since the 12th century. But its origins date back to the 8th century, when the first inhabitants settled around a Benedictine monastery of which the chapel of St Etienne de Cavall is the only witness. Taking its name from “sauveté” or “the place that saves”, La Salvetat, which saw its fortifications fall at the will of the people and the Clergy in the 12th century, has since then been a land of refuge, notably thanks to the passage of the Way of Arles towards Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally a Catholic Hérault village because it is attached to the bishopric of St Pons de Thomières, it was a victim of the Wars of Religion in the 16th century but was never taken by the Protestants. Very prosperous in the 19th century, it experienced a demographic decline after the Great Wars and the rural exodus that followed, before reaching its economic peak around the 1950s thanks to the construction of the Raviège dam. At that time,
the village had nearly a hundred shops.

Today, the town “sparkles” thanks to the fame of its mineral water known throughout France but also thanks to green tourism, the Raviège lake and its many water sports activities, and its incomparable
environmental quality. La Salvetat remains the refuge of many city dwellers from Hérault.

Visit at your own pace :     historical path

Must-see : Saint Etienne de Cavall chapel and its Black Madonna, St Etienne de Cavall bridge (12th century), hiking “La Lauze” (10 km), the Raviège lake and its outdoor activities centers.


The commune of Le Soulié is nestled on a hillside, at an altitude of 900 meters, on the Somail plateau. It is particularly well exposed to the sun, from which the village takes its name “Solher”. Le Soulié really existed as such from the 18th century. Its creation comes from a local legend which tells that a church was to be built in the hamlet of Vergouniac. The Lords of Caraman, a hamlet located at the other end of the territory,
did not did not see it this way and demanded that the church be built in their own hamlet. By dint of discord and in order to appease the spirits, it was finally decided that the church would be built at the place called Le Soulié-Haut, at an equal distance from the two strongholds. Le Soulié and its many hamlets, which enjoy both the fresh air and the sun, became in the 1950s a climate resort of choice and would host a good number of summer camps.

Today, the commune counts about a hundred Solariens, and lives mainly from agriculture and tourism. Le Soulié remains a village of typical charm with its fountain, church and old bread oven. It is full of treasures from the past with its hamlets where stone ovens are still enthroned (Sept-Faux, Le Banès, La Fajolle) which relive the time of the “oven day” in August, and some castles (Gransagnes, Caraman).

Must-see : the St Brancary cross (old pilgrimage site), the Grandsagnes castle (16th century), the hiking “Les Planques”, the village and its church, fountain and lake,  hamlets and its bread ovens.


In front of the immutable Montalet, roof of the Tarn, this small village located at the crossroads of Murat and Barre, between Tarn and Aveyron, would draw its name from the Occitan “Molin Magèr” that is to say “the big mill”. The only mill of importance listed to date is located below the road of Fontblanque and Barre.
Is it really this same “grand moulin”? Nothing is less certain. But like most of its neighbors, the mill-mageoise lands have been inhabited for more than 5000 years, as shown by the numerous menhir statues sculpted by the first farmers of the Neolithic period, including the
imposing menhir of Vacant. Later, the Romans passed through there by creating the famous road linking Béziers to Cahors. But it was not until several centuries later that Moulin Mage could be spoken of as a commune in its own right. Indeed, until the end of the XIXth century, Moulin Mage was only a hamlet
belonging to the commune of Barre. But from 1900, the breakthrough of the road that had been awaited for so long, and the arrival of the “Petit Train”, allowed the split between Cabannes and Barre, and the official birth of the commune of Moulin Mage. The latter is known for several originalities which deserve to be
underlined, such as the rabbit warrens very much used in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. These constructions of field borders, erected in slopes, covered with earth and equipped with a
locked metal door were nothing but rabbit traps. Walkers can still come across some of them at random in the woods, abandoned since the 1970s. But the pride of Moulin Mageoise in recent years lies in the person of the former letter carrier, star of the TV game Questions for a Champion in 2015!

Must-see : the Notre dame de Moulin Mage church (1836), the St Hilaire de Cabannes church (1837), the Vacant menhir


Built on the Vèbre, the river that gives part of its name to the municipality, Murat, which comes from the Latin “muratum” meaning “closed of walls”, leans against the rock of Castelas, surmounted in the past by an old castle. The village of Murat is located in the center of a vast commune which formerly gathered 4 parishes and whose churches remain today.

The community of inhabitants was called Boissezon de Matviel until the Revolution. Murat would be designated chief town of the canton at the end of this one. But its history is above all marked by the presence of Man since time immemorial, and in particular by the first peasants and breeders of the end of prehistory (3,300 to 2,200 years B.C.) who shaped and erected the menhir statues found in large numbers
in the Lacaune Mountains. Discovered more than a century ago, they remain an enigma. This period is brought to light at the Megalith Interpretation Center, opened about fifteen years ago, where the most
emblematic statues are enthroned. Murat, like its close Tarn neighbors, is marked by the wars of religion in the 16th century but also by the arrival of the Little Train, the construction of a main road and bridges
allowing access to carts down Languedoc and facilitating exchanges.

Just like La Salvetat and Anglès, Murat is a stopover on the Arles Way to Santiago de Compostela where pilgrims enjoy resting and taking advantage of the green landscapes and the freshness of the climate. This emblematic route is celebrated every year on the occasion of the jacquarian day, the 25th of July.

Visit at your own pace :     Vèbre Coeur

Must-see : the megalith museum, the Saint Etienne church, the ruins of the Boissezon tower and Canac castle, hikings “Les Tourelles” (12 km) and “Plo de Canac” (12 km), the Narulle windmill.


The small village of Nages is built on the Viau river which originates near the Mont Barre and flows gently southward to the Lac du Laouzas where it joins the Vèbre.

Nages is home to several architectural jewels of history, starting with the castle of the Counts of Thézan. The Counts of Thézan hardly ever came here and the place was taken over by Protestant troops during the religious wars of the 16th century. During the Revolution, the Count was not worried and his daughter and then his granddaughter inherited the place until the First World War. It is only afterwards that it was sold to the commune of Nages. Today, the Rieumontagné heritage research center has acquired two towers and after renovation, became an exhibition hall.

Nages is also worth a visit for its church St Victor, adjacent to the castle. St Martin’s church, originally a parish church, was destroyed during the wars of religion and following these events, the 15th century St Victor’s castral chapel was extended in the 17th century, then modified in the 19th century to form today’s parish church. It contains magnificent and remarkable frescoes by Michael Greschny.

But Nages, is also the little town near the lake of Laouzas whose dam built in 1960, caused a considerable modification of the landscape and marked the spirits forever. At the end of the lake is the small hamlet of Villelongue whose church tower overlooks the lake in majesty.

Further into the woods, Nages also has the Maison de Payrac, an old 19th century farmhouse converted into an open air museum.

Nages remains the refuge of tired city dwellers looking for a moment of freshness and pure air where the blue of the lake and the green of the forests mingle.

Visit at your own pace :     “Nages au fil du Viau” path

Must-see : the castle towers, the Saint Victor church and its frescoes, la maison de Payrac (from May to October), the Tastavy conservatory, the Laouzas lake and its outdoor activities center (Rieumontagné), le musée de la vie paysanne, the hikings : les termes de Tsaquarello, le tour du lac, entre lac et château, le sommet de Rouayras


The commune of ROSIS is totally atypical since it covers nearly 5,300 ha and is made up of 22 hamlets scattered throughout the valley of the Mare aux Gorges d’Héric. Formerly named St Gervais – Terre foraine, it was the object in the 19th century of an exchange of cadastral  enclaves in order to strictly delimit
communal territories. In 1827, it took the name of Rosis, patronymic of the castle of the noble family of the country, the De Portalon de Rosis.

The hamlet of Rosis is not the most populated of the municipality. It is in the hamlet of Andabre, located at the gates of St Gervais sur Mare, where anthracite mines were once exploited, that  communal life is centralized. The commune is criss-crossed by prestigious hiking trails through the mountain of Rosis and the imposing steep mass of the Caroux and Espinouse.

A land of adventure par excellence, it is the favorite place for climbing enthusiasts, the domain of hikers, and that of the golden eagle, and the Corsican mouflon (mountain goats) introduced in 1956, with the national hunting and wildlife reserve populated by about 1800 heads.

Must-see : Douch and the maison du Mouflon, hikings, the summit of the Caroux, the viewpoint indicator, the Fage windmill, the hamlets of Rosis, Andabre, Cours … and its authentic houses.


This small town in the canton of Viane, with a population of 90, is located on mountainous land sloping to the west. The Dadou, the main river of the commune is still a very small stream in Saint Salvi. It takes its source there, very close to the Frégère, and draws many meanders at the bottom of the narrow valley. Then, the commune and the valley widen at the level of the village. At an altitude of 730 meters, the cold
and humidity give birth to an abundant vegetation on a very green landscape: oak, beech, ash, chestnut, boxwood, holly, broom, fern, heather cover the uncultivated areas.

The origins of Saint Salvi de Carcavès are lost in the mists of time. The menhir statue of the Ouvradous, discovered in 1930, bears witness to a period dating back to 3000 BC, like many other menhir statues scattered in the Monts & Lakes in Haut-Languedoc. The name of the village would refer to Salvius, Bishop of Albi, and its development would be due in particular to its position on the Albi-Lacaune axis, once very busy.

Saint Salvi went through a troubled period in the 14th century with numerous looting and conflicts that ruined
part of the region, but calm returned in the mid 15th century. Later, as in most of the villages of the area, the population remained stable until the end of the 19th century, then fell as a result of wars and a rural exodus to the nearby Tarnese towns.

Today, the inhabitants of Saint-Salvigeois live mainly from agriculture and this green valley attracts many summer visitors, often foreigners, in search of calm and authenticity.

Must-see : le rocher de la Vierge and its viewpoint indicator


One of the smallest villages of the Tarn, nestled in the hollow of the Monts de Lacaune, Senaux takes its name from an ancient Gallo-Roman villa, SENALDUS, located on the ancient Roman road linking Béziers to Cahors.

Senaux is known for its castle belonging to the De Goudon family of Protestant nobility, and its dovecote housing a unique Romanesque fountain with its unique dry stone architecture of lauze of which no equivalent is known! It has been rehabilitated by the association Les Amis de Senaux. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the inhabitants used to draw water from this source.

Crossed by the three streams of Blateyrou, Gijoussel and Sepval, Senaux seduces by the freshness and greenery of its environment, its typical alleys and its well that makes it a country village with a unique charm.

Must-see : the dovecote fountain, the village and its well

VIANE Pierre-Ségade

A small Tarnese village nestled on a hillside, in the hollow of the Gijou valley, Viane is a village with an extremely rich past. Originally, it is a hamlet located on the rock of the same name which would come from vianova, “new way” in prolongation of the Roman way of Roquecézière.

In the Middle Ages, it housed a feudal castle that was burned down during the Wars of Religion and of which nothing remains. Viane ” le Rocher ” lost little by little its influence to the benefit of ” Pierre Ségade ” (sawn stone) located at the bottom of the valley. Viane has the particularity of seeing four religious communities living side by side. Formerly a Cathar stronghold during the Albigensian Crusade, it became a Huguenot stronghold in 1562, and welcomed many Protestants. It was then the gathering place of the Desert. Later, life in Vienna was turned upside down by the arrival of the Little Train in 1907 which brought Castres less than three hours away, a real revolution!

Thanks to this historical richness, the village is a real open-air museum! Many religious buildings such as Catholic churches, evangelist and Protestant temples reside there, many bridges and fountains can be discovered, the most famous of which is the mysterious Fountain of Recoules, a 16th century building listed as a Historical Monument.

Visit at your own pace :     Viane path

Must-see : the Rocher (viewpoint), Notre Dame church (19th century), the Pratmayou spring, the Rabaudié lake, the Recoules fountain (16th century)

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