Visiting the imposing dwelling will plunge you into the history of the famous d’Estaing family.
Classed as a Historic Monument in 1945 and bought in 2005 by the French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, it was built in the 13th century around a pentagonal dungeon.
At the summit of the dungeon one finds five turrets and a lantern shaped roof as well as a terrace offering impressive views over the Lot.
The village, the church and St-Fleuret
During your stroll through the village of Estaing you will be able to admire the beautiful façades dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries including Hôtel Cayron (now the Mairie) or the former collège.
Your foot steps will lead you to the church which houses the relics of Saint Fleuret. Built in the 15th century, it is classed as a historic monument as is the sculpted stone cross that is found in its square and which reminds us that we are on the chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle
Not to be missed
St Fleuret procession: 1st Sunday in July. Each year, a procession in period costume, which is both a historical reconstitution and religious act, passes through the village streets to glorify Saint Fleuret.
The Estaing vineyards and wine information centre
Although only a few miles from the hight plateau of the Aubrac, Estaing and the Lot valley benefit from a much milder climate that has enabled Estaing to cultivate the smallest vineyard in France. While the north facing slopes are dedicated to chestnuts and woods, the south facing slopes are reserved for vines.
In 1965, the vineyard was awarded OVDQS status (Origine Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure) and ten producers work to improve its wine.
In 1997, they created the smallest cooperative wine producing cellar in France, the Coopérative des Vignerons d’Olt.
In 2003, they built the Maison de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d’Estaing, where you can learn everything about the winemaker’s savoir-faire and taste red, white and rosé wines from Estaing.
The bridge and its cross
The Gothic bridge that straddles the Lot is classed as UNESCO world heritage as part of the Chemins de St Jacques de Compostelle. Each year, it is crossed by pilgrims on their way to St Jacques. While crossing it, they can admire a wrought iron cross, symbol of the Aveyron. This cross inspired the goldsmith Henri Lesieur who made it into a famous gold work of art. Opposite, is the statue of François d’Estaing, Bishop of Rodez, welcoming pilgrims.
The whole village of Estaing is transported back to mediaeval times for a weekend in September.
Here we are in the 13th century, the mediaeval market abounds with local produce, artisans display their works, and groups of Troubadours liven up the streets with their juggling and traditional music. There’s a banquet on Saturday evening. And the winner of the Tristan challenge will be dubbed knight under the watchful eye of the Estagnols in period costume.
Live the mediaeval life on every second weekend in September.