Between Causse and Aubrac, at the eastern entrance to the Aveyron department, Saint Laurent d´Olt is built on a rocky ridge, along a tumultuous meander in the Lot, which it dominates from a height of more than 50 m.
HOLIDAYS IN SAINT-LAURENT D'OLT
HOLIDAYS IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS TO RELAX OR TO FILL WITH SENSATIONS
Follow the marked paths and take part in the storytelling walks organised during the summer to discover Saint-Laurent d'Olt and its small, charming hamlets.
If it’s too hot? Take the time to bask on the banks of the Lot, upstream from the Bridge.
Or are you more of a thrill seeker? The tree-lined Saint-Laurent d´Olt campsite is the ideal starting point for descending the Lot Gorges in a canoe or kayak.
You can also opt for a beginner’s or an advanced course at the nearby fishing school.
Finally, in the evening, meet in the town hall square, where active associations organise shows and gourmet markets in summer...
A SHORT HISTORY
The narrow, steeply sloping streets lead to the top, where the Château des Hermaux sits. Built in the 13th century by the very powerful Canilhac family, it was dismantled around 1667, by order of Richelieu, then rebuilt in the 18th century by Valette des Hermaux.
The isthmus that connects the castle to the village was once barred by a gate and a small tower. Of the original castle, there only remains the watchtower and openings for canons.
The 18th century was a prosperous period thanks to an important trade in cadis, a serge-like woollen fabric. Some beautiful doors, including one dated to 1719, recall it. Around 1750 in this house, Mandrin, a highwayman, spent a night and paid for his accommodation with two pistols.
During your walk, take a detour to the church. The treasures inside will surprise you!
AROUND SAINT-LAURENT D'OLT
A village steeped in history, Saint Laurent d´Olt is also surrounded by many hamlets, which are worth visiting both for their views and for their unspoiled heritage.
UPSTREAM OF SAINT-LAURENT D'OLT
Estables, upstream from Saint-Laurent d´Olt, marks the entrance to the Aveyron department. Its name could come from an old Gallo-Roman relay (stabullum, stable). Before entering the small Romanesque church, admire the historiated capitals outside!
Nearby, in Escrante, tombs carved into the rock and a cross with incised images have been discovered.
Opposite Estables, take a small picturesque road which will lead you to Bonneterre. Take a moment near the church, with its curious copper cross, to admire the view of the Lot Valley, before continuing to Ajas, where the Kalkarwan travelling riding centre has set up its tent, offering horse rides.
DOWNSTREAM FROM SAINT-LAURENT D'OLT
Canet d'Olt, downstream from Saint Laurent, is a picturesque village in Permian red sandstone, with views over the valley and the causse limestone plateau facing it. Its church contains a very beautiful font.
Continue along the small road to Marijolet, a circular hamlet which offers beautiful views of the Lancize limestone cliffs.
From there, you can go to the small chapel of Saint Ferréol, at the edge of the Lot. Every year, at the beginning of September, a country pilgrimage takes place there.
DID YOU KNOW?
Take advantage of your stay in Saint-Laurent d´Olt to discover the life and work of the poet Jean Boudou, by visiting the museum which is dedicated to him.
Jean Boudou (1920-1975) - Joan Bodon, in Occitan, was born on 11 December in Crespin near Naucelle. At the age of 12, he started advanced primary education in Naucelle, and later, continued this advanced education at the Ecole Normale in Rodez. In 1941, he met Félibre Henri Mouly who saw in him the writer, and encouraged him. In 1943, he left for Germany (Service du Travail Obligatoire forced enlistment). He returned in 1945, deeply marked both psychologically and morally. A teacher in Aveyron, he held several positions. Appointed itinerant agricultural teacher, he taught in Saint-Geniez, Sainte-Eulalie and Saint-Laurent, before ending his career as a teacher in a high school in Arbatache in Algeria, where he died on 24 February 1975, in the prime of his life. Jean Boudou's writing bears little relation to the French novel of the 1960s, it is more akin to South American literature. His first collections of tales were celebrated in 1954 by the Jeux Floraux du Félibrige, an Occitan literature award. Two years later, his first novel, ‘Les cailloux du chemin’, appeared. Then, in 1960, came ‘La Sainte-Estelle du centenaire’. Several other works followed, written in the Oc language. They were only translated into French after his death.
A LITTLE STORY
Over the years, Saint-Laurent d´Olt has welcomed people who have marked their time and our history...
In 1366, the lands of Saint Laurent passed into the hands of the lords of Beaufort. The Beaufort family gave us two popes: Pierre-Roger who became Pope of Avignon in 1342 under the name of Clement VI, and his nephew Pierre-Roger, first prior of Saint Saturnin de Lenne and Saint Eulalie d'Olt, who took the name of Gregory XI in 1370. He brought the Holy See back to Rome. Their portraits adorn the walls of the Popes Palace in Avignon.
To close the Fête de la Saint-Laurent, the committee organises a country horse race on the Estables plain, on the banks of the Lot!