Najac is a green village, surrounded by forests that offer varied and astonishing tones all year round. The widening of the street turning it into a vast square bears witness to its transformation into a bastide in the middle of the 13th century. Right along the street you will admire the large number of old houses and a remarkable 14th century fountain still in situ.
The château royal in Najac built in the mid 13th century is the work of Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Saint-Louis. Classed as a Historic Monument this château was part of a network of châteaux royaux situated in the Aveyron valley. It demonstrates the royal control of Najac after the Cathare episode. The Templar knights were imprisoned in the château’s lower dungeon after their arrest in 1307.
Although unoccupied for many years, the château is still very well preserved. The circular dungeon, the work of Alphonse de Poitiers, was defended by archers at a height of almost 7 metres, the tallest in France ! Lovers of mysteries will appreciate the narrow passageways, barred by several doors, within the château wall that lead from the new to the old dungeon, a real secret passage ! Climb to the terrace, you will have a magnificent panoramic view of the Aveyron and the village.
Strolling through the village you will find :
- The 13th and 14th century church of Saint Jean L'Evangéliste caracteristic of southern Gothic style.
- The 14th century Saint-Barthélémy chapel now converted into a house.
- The 13th century Porte de la Pique fortified entrance.
- The 13th – 15th century Maison du Gouverneur.
- The 15th -16th century Maison du Sénéchal.
- The dodecagon shaped Fontaine des Consuls dated 1344.
- The 15th century Place du Barry with its arcades.
- Saint Blaise bridge, inaccessible to cars.
Najac stretches out along a single street. The village is perched on an exceptionally long rocky ridge. Right at the end, the imposing château fort. Below, the meanders of the river Aveyron.