Combret, a medieval hilltop town with... charm...

Perched on a rocky outcrop in a meander of the River Rance, Combret was an important barony in southern Rouergue in medieval times.

Today, it has the "Petites Cités de Caractère" label.

 

A little history... a lot of riches

Combret is an exceptional village in many respects...

The Occitan poet Léon Cordes said of Combret that "Peiras que cantan à Combret" ("The stones sing in Combret").

Listed as a Historical Monument since 1995

the "Halle de Justice" features small blackened holes in the original cobblestone floor. Until the 1950s, these were used by itinerant tinsmiths. They built fires to melt the tin used to restore iron utensils (spoons, forks, plates, etc.).

In medieval times, Combret was home to several castles: the

Château du Puech and its even older 11th-century keep, which belonged to the feudal lord.

The church of Saint-Jean Baptiste has retained some fine Romanesque features, and Combret is home to a number of crpoxes.

The medieval Halle de Justice and the church of Saint-Jean Baptiste, emblems of the village, are listed as Historic Monuments.

In addition to these highlights, there are the calades, i.e. the small cobbled or stone-paved streets that slope steeply,

the dovecotes of the seigniorial families, square or round in shape, some of which have been restored. Four large square dovecotes can still be seen in the village, one of which, under the Town Hall, has been fully restored and is now owned by the commune.
Three large, round, tower-shaped dovecotes can also be seen near the village.

Another curiosity is the bread ovens. There are still thirteen privately-owned bread ovens.

In the hamlet of Saint Amans de Lizertet, the commune of Combret has completely restored a communal oven.

In feudal times, bread ovens were sometimes a privilege of the lord, who profited by levying a tax called "banalités" on each baking.

 

The seigneurial houses

The village of Combret boasts many vestiges of its former nobility.

This past is particularly vivid in what remains of their beautiful dwellings.

Maison d'Audouls de Roquefère, sieur de Bélanet et de Roquecezière, Rue du Barry.
Maison de Pène de la Ferrandie, de Mostuejouls, de Benoit, de Fabre, de Blauzac, located in Rue du Serre (they also owned the Château de La Verdolle).
House of Glavenas- Tirefort, de Rudelle, de Monvalat. Rue du Serre (present-day town hall).
House of Capriol, Cabrol, Assié. Rue du Serre, former presbytery near the town hall.
House of Glavenas, sieur de Burgatel Lavabre, de Roquerouge, de Corbou, de Monlas, de Campal. Rue du Puech and Château des Camps.
Maison de Saint Juéry . Rue du Puech and Hauterive.
Maison de Najac, sieur del Py et de Plégats on Rue de la Clède.
Many of these houses still have their beautiful stone fireplaces and spiral staircases.

The facades feature numerous mullioned windows and superb carved doors.

In one of them, a French ceiling has preserved its remarkable decoration.

In another, a French ceiling has been restored, and the same room features an 18th-century stucco fireplace.

Also worth a visit are the gates that served as passageways, and the doors that served as a second line of defense.

Not forgetting the mills...

Combret is well worth a long stop.

 

Combret Town Hall
Rue du Serre
12370 Combret
Tel.: 05 65 99 64 58

 

https://www.combret-aveyron.fr/

 

Translated with DeepL.com

(free version)

 

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