| 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
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
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.
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
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.