Skip to content
ArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchEnglishFrenchGermanGreekHindiItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish

Occitanie

Rougier de Camares - Southern Aveyron

This page was updated on: Sunday, December 10, 2017 at: 4:33 pm

Rougier de Camares, a region of red soil

The Rougier de Camares is a vast region of red soil of Southern Aveyron.

This 170,000-hectare area owes its name to the colour of its soil composed of red (rouge - rougier) clay saturated with iron oxide.

The Rougier de Camares therefore boasts a glorious palette of purple, crimson, brick, nasturtium, rust, orange, mustard and ocher colours and resembles a gigantic natural patchwork.

250million years ago, a shallow sea submerged the region.

Skeletons of corals and marine creatures accumulated on the seabed over the millennia and formed a sedimentary layer that solidified.

The sea eventually receded and successive droughts and floods triggered oxidation of the iron-saturated clay sediments.

Water erosion then shaped the landscape.

The Rougier consists therefore of valleys, hills and small mountains that range from 300m to 600mof altitude.

The Dourdou River carved its way in the rock and created a vast and fertile alluvial plain.

The hard sediments, on the other hand, resisted erosion.

They consequently formed large promontories (puech) of red sandstone where men built their fortresses and fortified cities during the Middle-Ages.

Modern men fall for the breathtaking landscapes of the Rougier de Camares.

Neolithic men, however, had more mundane considerations and essentially saw the fertility of the land!

The statues-menhirs they erected near the town of Camares indeed attest of their early and constant presence.

Some of these carved monoliths are today exhibited in the Fenaille Museum in Rodez and fine replicas replace them in their original location.

Men later discovered the copper and silver lead ore mines of the Rougier de Camares, which they mined until the late Middle-Ages.

That said, sections of this rich region are also dedicated to sheep rearing.

Local farmers indeed specialize in the breeding of Lacaune ewes whose milk essentially serves for the making of AOC Roquefort.

Finally, the arable land is also dedicated to the extensive culture of cereal crops.

Camares

The capital of the Rougier is Camares.

This little fortified town was initially called Camberès.

It was built during the 11th century on one of the region's puech and a stone's throw from the Château de Montaigut.

The upper town still contains many vestiges of the medieval village.

Camares has indeed retained an ancient gate that used to lead to the long gone castle.

However, its 11th century Romanesque bridge, Le Pont Vieux (Old Bridge) that spans the Dourdou is still in use!

Interestingly, this little town was one of the main protestant bastions of Aveyron during the 16th century Wars of Religion.

The ramparts disappeared at the end of the conflict.

The inhabitants, however, remained faithful to their Protestant heritage and eventually rebuilt a temple in 1825!

Cloth spinning was the town's main industry until the late 19th century, but Camares has since converted in the manufacturing of leather clothes.

Department of Aveyron
Coordinates: Lat 43.885998 - Long 2.880135

Chateau de Montal - Renaissance facades and seen from the formal garden

Chateau de Montal, a Renaissance masterpiece in Quercy

Chateau de Montal, a Renaissance masterpiece built by a woman and returned to its past grandeur by the industrialist and patron of the arts Maurice Fenaille
Dolmen de Martignes in Beduer - Lot

Dolmen de Martignes and Cloup de Coutze

Dolmen de Martignes and Dolmen du Cloup of Coutze, the most famous of the 12 dolmens listed in Beduer, a village of Quercy along St. James Way
Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur- Emeral waters of the resurgence of the river Ouysse

Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur – Ouysse River’s resurgence

The Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur is a basin of emerald water nestled in the lush greenery where the river Ouysse resurfaces near the village of Calès in the Lot
Chateau des Anglais, also known as Chateau Fort de La Roque d'Autoire

Chateau des Anglais or Chateau Fort de La Roque d’Autoire

Chateau des Anglais - Chateau Fort de La Roque d’Autoire, the troglodyte fort the lords of Turenne built at the border of the Auvergne and Toulouse counties

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page