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> La Couvertoirade
This mediaeval village, located at the
confines of the Larzac plateau, reflects the military power of the Templar Knights and
the daily activity
of the Hospitaliers
(Knights of
Saint John
of Jerusalem),
through its
exceptional state of conservation.

Classed as a Most Beautiful French Village, La Couvertoirade constitutes a veritable "miniature" of the mediaeval city. Few mediaeval sites in France are as well preserved.

At the end of the 12th century, the Templar Commander of Saint Eulalie-de-Cernon ordered the construction of a castle.
Later, in the 14th century, the Knights of Saint John built the church. In the following century, they erected the fortified enclosure, whose towers and walls are still intact today.

La Couvertoirade was one crucial point in the Templar system and Larzac, with its grain plantations on the south of the plateau, constituted one of the great properties, to the extent that it was baptised "la plaine du temple" (the temple plain). The castle was built in 1249 by the Templars and for seven centuries Couvertoirade would shelter them and their "heirs", the Hospitaliers , who took possession of Templar property after 1312.
That year signalled the abolition of the Templar Order, following the giant plot hatched against it by King Philippe-le-Bel.

An intact surrounding wall of round and square towers connected by a rampart walk --mind your children, for there is no barrier -- these allow you to to imagine the mediaeval city. Hordes of tourists invade this historic spot, but idling in the
crowded streets and shops permits an authentic understanding of the excitement of the Middle Ages marketplace.
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 sheep's pen and today, this space is frequently occupied by artisans' shops.




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