« Carladez is a secret place up in the north at the tip of the Aveyron département, nestled between the Monts d’Aubrac and the Cantal volcanoes. Away from France’s main highways, boasting untouched nature and basalt and granite architecture typical of Auvergne, Carladez isn’t a stop along the way, it’s a destination. »
Geography & History of the Mur-de-Barrez region
For a long time Carladez belonged to the lords of Carlat, a village with a fortress built on a basalt rock with vertical flanks. This extraordinary rock is 20mins away from Mur-de-Barrez by car, in the Cantal département.
Today’s visitors to Mur-de-Barrez are surprised to see the words ‘Monaco’ at the main square and ‘Grimaldi’ on the tower in the centre of the village, formerly the gate of the medieval town.
These two words belie the long history between the Principality of Monaco our region.
On September 16th 1641, Honoré II, ruler of Monaco since 1604, signed the Treaty of Péronne, forming the French
Alliance and driving out the Spanish. In return, the Prince of Monaco was given French territory:
– the Duchy of Valentinois
– the Viscounty of Carlat
– the Marquisate of Baux
Since the creation of France’s départements in 1790, Mur-de-Barrez has been part of Aveyron in Midi-Pyrénées, but has always kept a touch of Auvergne about it.
“People from Carladez have the pleasure of being from both Rouergue and Auvergne.”
Gandillon Gens d’Armes
You can see this in the architecture of Carladez’s houses, with their often unique rooves, diverse chimneys and roof windows.
The Aveyron part of Carladez collects the communes of: Brommat, Lacroix-Barrez, Mur-de-Barrez, Murols, Taussac and Thérondels.
Traditional houses, with basalt and flagstones
‘Distinctive houses, local recipes and rolling landscapes; Carladez is packed with well-preserved heritage.’
Détours en France – Détours en Midi-Méditerranée : Le Carladez un charme fou.
Our architecture makes use of local natural resources. Its most unique features are the rooves, and the diverse chimneys and roof windows.
Rooves are very sloped
- Carladez is snowy in the winter
- The flagstones on the rooves are heavy, around 100kg/m2 on average, necessitating a fine balance between the schiste and the framework of the house.
- A little anecdote: one often sees on Mur-de-Barrez’s sloped rooves a ball of basalt, which is supposed to bring fertility to the household.’
The local flagstones are taken from schist quarries. The one in Sergent, near to Saint Hippolyte, has been active for 150 years.
Many bâtière openings, fenestrous and sitting dogs decorate the rooves.
Their small size is in accorance with our weather conditions.
Black basalt house
At first sight the local volcanic rock may make our mountain villages look ‘austere’, but this is quickly dispelled by their beautiful buildings and the light they are often bathed in.
The thickness of the rock helps to survive the coldest winters and the hottest summers.
– 2000 hours of sunlight per year
– Population: 3,140 inhabitants.
– Density: 12 inhabitants/km2