Aveyron - a journey in the footsteps of the Templars

Aveyron - a journey in the footsteps of the Templars – main image

The Department of Aveyron is located in the South of France in the Occitania County. It is a picturesque region with many secrets. History buffs can explore Aveyron, following in the footsteps of the Knights Templar and learning about the mysterious, fortified commanderies and Romanesque chapels built for the Order.

Aveyron is one of the eight departments of the very large Midi-Pyrénées region , located at the foot of the Pyrenees. This area is very diverse in terms of landscape. To the east, it is surrounded by three limestone plateaus : Aubrac, Causse Noire and Causse du Larzac, and there are also three rivers : Aveyron, Viaur and Tarn. To this must also be added the tops of the mountains, national parks and historic towns full of medieval buildings.

Remains of the glory of the Knights Templar

The vast Larzac plateau in Aveyron was chosen by the Knights of the Knights Templar as their headquarters. The origins of this infamous order are related to Jerusalem, where it was established in 1120 on the hill of the former Temple of Solomon. The knights needed a logistics base in Europe, so the king of Aragon, who was both the Earl of Barcelona and the Viscount of the city of Millau , gave them lands on the Larzac plateau.


The first Templar settlement in Europe was Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon . The commandery and fortification built by the order have survived to the present day in very good condition.

Further traces of the Templars can be found in Saint-Jean d'Alcas and La Couvertoirade , where you can see miniatures of a fortified medieval city built by the Templars. In La Cavalerie , however, we can find a 19th-century copy of a medieval cistern, called the lavognes . There is also a chapel renovated by the Ionites, in which traces of its first builders, i.e. the Templars, have been preserved.


In the Aveyron region is the small, mysterious village of Rennes-le-Chateau , which today has about 100 inhabitants. There are many stories and legends associated with the area. One of them says that the Holy Grail is hidden in or near Rennes. Another legend mentions a huge treasure of the Templars and Cathars .

In October, Festival des Templiers takes place in one of the largest cities in this region - in Millau . It is a great jogging festival that attracts around 8,000 people each year. players from all over the world and a huge crowd of fans.

Camping Marmotel

When we get tired of the journey in the footsteps of the Templars, it is worth taking a short break. In the vicinity of Saint-Geniez-d'Olt , in the Aveyron region, there are not only monuments with the status of monument historique (eg Couvent des Pénitents, the Church of St. Genesius), but also the comfortable and family- run Camping Marmotel . 

The resort is located 46 km from the largest city in the region - Rodez ( where we find the airport) and near the Lot River, in the nature park (Parc Naturel d'Aubrac). The staff speaks not only French, but also Polish, Russian and English. Camping Marmotel is open from April to September .

On the campsite you can rent spacious, comfortably equipped holiday homes with a bedroom, kitchenette, TV, bathroom, and a heated and covered terrace . There are also lots available with electricity and sanitary connections.


Camping Marmotel offers plenty of entertainment, such as a water park (350 sq m pool, two 18 m long slides, water gymnastics and water polo facilities), football, volleyball, tennis, ping-pong and boules. In the evenings, there are quizzes, dances, karaoke and games for the whole family.

The resort also provides attractions for children . We will find there, among others playground, mini club, room with video projector, trampoline and a water playground with a paddling pool for kids.

The resort has its own restaurant , where you can try dishes prepared on the grill. Near the pool there is a bar for guests wishing to cool off with a cold drink, cocktail or ice cream. You can buy fresh bread every morning at the campsite. And when we rest at Camping Marmotel, it is worth following in the footsteps of the mysterious Templars.

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Piotr Strugała
Piotr Strugała

Italy, Croatia, Spain ... are the countries I would like to come back to every summer. I like to discover new places, whether it is a bustling capital city or a quiet town on a mountain slope.