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> A Short History of Aveyron

The Counts of Toulouse and the Permanent Presence of the Knights Templar.


Rouergue (former name of Aveyron) fell under the sovereign power of the Count of Toulouse. In order to finance his grand role of taking part in the 1st Crusade of Godefroi de Bouillon, the Count of Toulouse, Raymond de Saint Gilles in 1112 ceded his beloved Rouergue to Richard, already Viscount of Carladez, who then took over the title of Count of Rodez from Raymond de Saint Gilles. This made him a rival to the Bishop of Rodez. When Raymond the VII died at Millau with no heirs in 1249, his son-in-law, Alphonse of Poitiers, the blood brother of Saint Louis moved closer to Rouergue bringing nearer the power of the Capetian. This was another achievement towards the unification and kingdom of France. During these times of uncertainty and the emancipation of colonists, walled towns such as Villefrance-de-Rouergue were erected.
In 1187 Alphonse II of Aragon granted municipal status to the city of Millau. This constituted the birth of the Consulate of Millau.

The crusades and the orders of knights

After the conquest of Jerusalem, in 1099 , during the first crusade, some of the Lords stay in Palestine and create the realm of Jerusalem.Their main objective was to guarantee the free access to the grave of the Christ and of preserving it to the Christian world. And in fact, the stream of the pilgrims becomes more marked toward Jerusalem during the XII-th and XIII-th centuries.


Two new religious orders are born. First of all the order of Saint-Jean-de-Jérusalem's hospitable in 1113. Their mission: the residence and the care to the pilgrims. In 1120, a parallel order, Order of Temple is created to assure the safety of the same pilgrims in Holy Earth.

The donations allow these two religious and military orders to organize a real network of rural commanderies as to saint - Eulalie and urban in big cities. The incomes of these domains will be of use to the interview of about knights' hundreds of both orders in Holy Earth.

Big fortresses held by the Orders military and being able to shelter up to 2 000 men , will serve for keeping the realm of Jerusalem to the Christian world. Vessels belonging to Saint-John-of-Jérusalem's order and to the Order of Temple will assure since the ports of Saint Gilles and Aigues-Mortes for the most close, the transfers of money , weapons, horses, men , this several times a year.


The fall of the city of Acre sounds the end of the Knight Templars who should leave the Palestine. In France, the king Philippe le Bel orders, in 1307 , the arrest of all the Knight Templars of France.

The order is abolished in 1312. It is the Knights of Saint-John of Jerusalem which will collect all the inheritance of the Knight Templars. The power of the Hospitable extends then over more than commanderies 600 since the Scotland in the borders of Poland and Denmark on the point of Sicily.


Discover the templar' village :
La Cavalerie,
La Couvertoirade,
Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon
Le Viala-de-Pas-de Jaux, Saint-Jean-d'Alcas.