On 28th June 2011, the Causses and Cévennes were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the « cultural assets » category.
So if you like open spaces, nature, heritage, a land full of history: welcome to the Causses and Cévennes, welcome to Aveyron!
For the first time ever, UNESCO recognised the exceptional value not of a natural environment, but of a « living, evolving cultural landscape ». In this case, it is the positive influence of human activity on the landscape that is being highlighted. Because the Causses and Cévennes are the joint work of man and nature, of territories shaped firstly by hunting and gathering, and then by agriculture and livestock farming.
It is therefore not just the spectacular open spaces of the Grands Causses which have joined the World Heritage list. The Grands Causses have always been a land of agro-pastoralism for roaming shepherds and their flocks of sheep.
And so it is also, and especially, the shepherd culture which has been recompensed. Cultures and culture, natural and built heritage, History and stories…here, everything is unique and spectacular. Agro-pastoralism in traditional farms of the Causses and Cévennes now has a recognised cultural function.
An honour that brings with it responsibility… In actual fact, agro-pastoralism on the Grands Causses has had a new lease of life over the past few years.
Come and meet these people, their culture. Follow the shepherds’ drailles on foot, on horseback, by mountain bike… You will be fascinated by these huge wild spaces, spaces of freedom, a space of plenitude…
Facts and figures
- 3000 km²
- 4 départements : Aveyron, Lozère, Gard, Hérault
- 134 communes in the inner zone (listed area)
- 97 communes in the outer zone (protected area)
- 5 Gateway-towns: Millau, Mende, Alès, Ganges, Lodève
Millau, a Gateway-town...
Millau, « the Gateway Town » to this prestigious territory, is also the headquarters of the Grands Causses Natural Regional Park, one of the biggest in France, covering Southern Aveyron and created in 1995.