La Couvertoirade is an old Knights Templar village situated about 20km north of Lodève, in the Aveyron department of the Midi Pyrenees in SW France. The castle was built by the templar knights at the end of the 12th century and the knights played a key role in the creation of the village.
The best time to visit is in the early morning or outside the peak holiday season months as the village is a popular tourist haunt. The ramparts and much of the castle still exist in good condition. Take a walk round the ramparts to see some beautiful views of the surrounding area. The views from the watchtower are even better.
Don’t miss also the Saint-Christophe church which dates from the 14th century. The cross of the Order of Malta adorn the keystones in the nave and outside the church, there is a Templar graveyard with original tomb stones.
Most houses are equipped with an exterior staircase, leading to a balcony and access to the upstairs living quarters. On the ground floor, a vaulted roof sheltered the owner’s livestock. Today many of these ground floor areas are now occupied by artisans’ shops.
The above picture is copyright and courtesy of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France organisation.
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