Most of the time the castles are outside the towns and villages. In Varen it is in the middle of the village. And there is an explanation, originally it was an abbey house.
A bit of history...
The foundation of the church is attributed, according to tradition, to Saint Gerard d'Aurillac, related to Pepin, King of Aquitaine.
He is said to have installed Benedictine monks in the 11th century. Priory dependent on the Abbey of Aurillac, the church was built towards the end of the 11th century.
In the 15th century, part of the monastery was replaced by a fortified castle, symbol of the power of the monks.
The abbey was secularized in 1561.
A college of canons replaced the monks with a dean at its head.
In 1581, the deanery was sacked by the Protestants and the dean was beheaded in front of the church door.
Located near the collegiate church, the castle was built in the late 15th or early 16th century.
It is a rectangular machicolated keep. Above the second floor, a gallery was supported by still preserved corbels. The interior, which consists of three floors served by a spiral staircase, offers vast, partly collapsed rooms.
Large chimneys and remnants of stucco decoration are still visible.
The keep is connected to the fortification system by a small construction with a turret and a curved section.
The history of the village is not just about the deanery.
- 1846: Registration of the church in the register of historical monuments.
- September 1, 1858: Inauguration of the "grand central" railway line Rodez - Montauban which opened up the region.
The station of Lexos with colossal dimensions opened in three directions: Paris via Capdenac, Toulouse and Montauban, for whom it was the obligatory passage before the construction of the line Brive Cahors Montauban Toulouse.
The presence of the line would allow the transformation of the lime factory into a particularly flourishing and constantly modernized cement plant until its sudden closure in 1994.
From then on, Varen was hard hit by this "relocation" and the particularly attractive site interested and attracted many foreigners, English and Dutch, who came to settle in the village.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator