Peyrusse le Roc is quarter of an hour away from us and somewhere I really like to take visitors.
It’s rarely very busy as it isn’t very well known, but it is really impressive as you can see from the photo.
This being Aveyron there is not too much worry about health and safety either you can clamber up the side of it, if you’re that way inclined and one of my nephews did! I don’t have that on film, I was too busy screaming hysterical, but some more sensible members of the family are pictured climbing what looks like a very precarious ladder to me!
The towers are what’s left of the fortifications, but the vestiges of the rest of the town can still be seen. The full walk takes about an hour and a half, the first half of the walk takes you gently down into the valley, but be aware it is lulling you into a false sense of security the second half takes you back up in a much more brutal manner and is not for the faint hearted. (although it does have the advantage of wearing the kids out!) About half way down are the ruins of the old abbey, lovely place for a picnic.
The History Bit
The written records of Peyrusse go back to 767, when it was besieged by Pepin le Bref who took possession of it from Waïfe the Visigoth chieftain in August of that year.
It is mentioned through the centuries Robert II of France stayed there in 1031.
In 1269 Peyrusse received Alphonse de Poitiers and the count of Rodez came to pay tribute.
In 1369, a Charter was granted to the town by .Charles V
The city of Peyrusse had up to 40 noble families, as well as six notaries, a money changer, and several factories. Trade was important (several fairs and two markets per week). It was the chief town of the larger Bailiwick of Rouergue (106 parishes) and housed within its walls 187 men in arms and 4 Knights. Peyrusse also exploited the silver mines that had existed since antiquity.The city’s population started to wane during the 13th century .
What remains today is a credit to a small group of dedicated volunteers who had the foresight to step in in the nick of time.