Le vigan


Around 500 B.C. the Volques, who had come from a zone running from the Rhône to the Garonne, inhabited the region. In the second century B.C. the Romans built a number of important communication routes, the two most important for Le Vigan being Nîmes-Rodez and Gévaudan-Lodève.
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Le Vigan is an interesting place to visit, with a maze of narrow alleyways in the heart of the town, fountains, the "parc des Chataigner...'s" (sweet chestnut park), the medieval quarter around the Cevenol museum and the magnificent 12th century bridge.
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This commune is nestled between jagged mountains and deep valleys, with small farms lying on the mountainsides or perched on rocky overhangs.

There are beautiful views across the Cevennes of the schist, limestone and granite landscapes : the Aigoual massif, l'Oiselette (700m), the Vis valley, the flat land surrounding Ganges and the limestone relief of the Tude and Pic d'Anjeau rocks.

The village is situated at an altitude of 520m and has little flat land; it is south facing and sheltered from the north winds. There is a small chapel, a shady square with two huge plane trees, steps and vaulted passageways... There is a continual dance of light and shadows.

Saint Laurent le Minier

This commune is situated on the edge of the Herault, at the foot of Mont Aigoual and the door of the Blandas Causse. The river Vis flows here, and there is an impressive waterfall opposite the chateau. The refreshing water of the river is appreciated by swimmers and fishermen alike.

The village lies along the banks of the Crenz and its tributary the Naduel.

The nine bridges demonstrate the importance of crossing from one bank to another for early inhabitants.

For decades Saint Laurent depended on agriculture for its livelihood and then, until the last few years, the mining industry with the "Mine des Malines".

On foot there is much to discover : the 17th century chateau, the aqueduct taking water from the waterfall, the chapel, the church, the ice house (where the ice, packed in tight during the winter was preserved inside the thick walls until summer) and the bridges, some dating from the Middle ages.


Roquedur is a very old settlement, situated half way between the mountains and the sea, and is made up of a number of hamlets and isolated farms.

The hamlet of Roquedur le Haut is built at the foot of an enormous rock : the Duke rock. In the 15th century a fortress was built around its base.

One km along the road leading to Roquedur le Bas a forest track leads off to the right to the chapel of St. Pierre de la Clastre. This Romanesque chapel was practically completely destroyed in 1622 and then rebuilt in1688. Now completely restored, it has a bell weighing 100kg known as "Marie-Pierre".

500m before you get to the village from the Le Vigan direction, there are the washing places (lavoirs), watering troughs and the spring supplying Roquedur on the right hand side. The inhabitants used to come and wash their clothes, collect their drinking water and water their animals there.

  • From Le Vigan, cross the bridge over the river Arre on the D110 until you reach the "perch" of St. Bresson village.

It is a winding road, but the panoramic views more than make up for it.

  • Drive down to St. Laurent le Minier, over the bridge which crosses the river Vis ;

there is a carpark there with information boards, picnic tables and the Meuse waterfall : an ideal place for a refreshing swim.

  • Follow the signs for Ganges and turn left at the bridge.
  • Take the D999 towards Le Vigan.
  • At St. Julien de la Nef cross the river Herault and follow signs for Roquedur.

There is an excellent viewing spot at Roquedur le Haut.

  • Le Vigan is at the bottom of the mountain.