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Country  France
Time zone  CET (UTC+1)
Arrondissements  3
Population  277,740 (2013)
Prefecture  Rodez
Region  Occitanie
Department number  12
Area  8,735 km²
Capital  Rodez
Team  Rodez AF
Aveyron httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons99

Subprefectures  Millau Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Points of interest  Abbey Church of Saint Foy, Rodez Cathedral, Château de Belcastel, Château de Montaigut, Château de Najac
Destinations  Millau, Rodez, Saint‑Amans‑des‑Cots, Najac, Villefranche‑de‑Rouergue

Aveyron ([avɛʁɔ̃]; Occitan: Avairon [avajˈɾu]) is a department located in the north of the Occitanie region of southern France named after the Aveyron River.


Map of Aveyron, France

The inhabitants of the department are known as Aveyronnais or Aveyronnaises. The inhabitants of Rodez are called Ruthénois, based on the first Celtic settlers, the rutenii.


Aveyron is the centre of a triangle formed by the cities of Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, and Montpellier. The department approximately follows the outline of the former province of Rouergue. It is the 5th largest department in metropolitan France in terms of area (8,735 km2 (3,373 sq mi)). Its prefecture is Rodez.

The department comes under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Toulouse and the Montpellier Court of Appeal. The INSEE and Post Code is 12.

Aveyron is located in the south of the Massif Central. The highest point in the department is the summit of Le Signal de Mailhebiau at 1469m on the Plateau of Aubrac. The Aveyron department is divided into several natural regions such as the Grand Causses and Rougiers.

Aveyron department consists of an ancient high rocky plateau of great geological diversity. The Truyère, Lot, Aveyron, and Tarn rivers have carved a lot of deep gorges.

The department is surrounded by the departments of Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Hérault, Gard, Lozère, and Cantal.

The Lac de Villefranche-de-Panat is used as a reservoir to provide drinking water supplies for the region.


Aveyron is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790.

The first known historical inhabitants of the region were the Rutenii tribe, but the area was inhabited previously to this, boasting many prehistoric ruins including over 1,000 Dolmens - more than any other department in France.

During the medieval and early modern periods, and until the 1790s, the territory covered by Aveyron was a province known as Rouergue.

In 1797, Victor of Aveyron (the Feral child of Aveyron) was found wandering the woods in the area. The story of Victor is told in the film The Wild Child.

In 1817, a local prosecutor Antoine Bernardin Fualdès was assassinated. The sordid circumstances of his death, following which his body was found floating in the Aveyron River, led to the matter becoming publicised as a cause célèbre. Recent studies have indicated that he met his end at the initiative of a right wing royalist organisation known as the Chevaliers de la Foi (Knights of the Faith).


In 2010, the department had 276,805 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the department since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.

Population Change (See database)

Sources : Historical data of Aube department on the SPLAF website Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Second homes

According to the general census of the population on 1 January 2008, 17.8% of available housing in the department were second homes.

This table shows the main towns of Aveyron including second homes and occasionally exceed 10% of total housing .

  • Source INSEE, data from 1 January 2008.
  • Politics

    The President of the General Council is Jean-Claude Luche of the Union for a Popular Movement.

    Regional sub-dialect

    The regional sub-dialect spoken in Aveyron is a form of Languedoc Occitan called Rouergat. Faced with the risk of disappearance of the language several associations asked the State and political communities for an ambitious language policy. In Rouergat, Aveyron is written:

  • Avairon (traditional Occitan spelling) - e.g. "Roergue forma lo despartament de l'Avairon"
  • Oboyróu (spelling of Father Vayssier) - e.g. "Rouergue fouórmo lou desportomén de l'Oboyróu"
  • Tourism

    Aveyron contains a part of the Cévennes National Park. Well-known tourist attractions are the castle of Najac, a medieval ruin perched high on a hill, and the many beautiful old castles and monasteries such as Conques Abbey, Sylvanès Abbey, Bonneval Abbey and Loc-Dieu Abbey, located near Martiel in a region with many dolmens. The small city of Millau is the site of the world's tallest bridge, the Millau viaduct, opened by President Chirac in December 2004.

    Activities include horseriding, fishing, swimming in the Lacs du Lévézou and hiking/camping. The inhabitants are also very good craftsmen, and Aveyron is full of various craft objects, handmade, that can be found locally. Examples include the couteau de Laguiole, the world famous Roquefort cheese, from the village of the same name and other local produce. Markets take place every Saturday on market places around the region.

    Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance is the commune where the feral child Victor of Aveyron was found in the late 18th century.

    The Most Beautiful Villages of France

    Ten towns in Aveyron fall within the classification of a 1901 association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France:

  • Belcastel
  • Brousse-le-Château
  • La Couvertoirade
  • Conques
  • Estaing
  • Najac
  • Peyre
  • Saint-Côme-d'Olt
  • Sainte-Eulalie-d'Olt
  • Sauveterre-de-Rouergue.
  • Other tourist spots

  • Roquecézière
  • Saint-Geniez-d'Olt
  • Loc-Dieu Abbey
  • Bonneval Abbey
  • Coupiac
  • Aubrac Mountains
  • Causse du Larzac
  • Château de Sévérac
  • Bournazel
  • Baraqueville
  • Château de Calmont d'Olt
  • Rodez
  • Millau
  • Pons
  • Medieval villages in the Muse Valley:
  • Castelnau-Pégayrols
  • Saint-Beauzély
  • Montjaux
  • Villefranche-de-Rouergue
  • Villeneuve
  • The Trou de Bozouls
  • The Tindoul de la Vayssière
  • Vale of Marcillac, Vineyards and towns:
  • Marcillac-Vallon
  • Salles-la-Source
  • Clairvaux-d'Aveyron
  • Muret-le-Château
  • The Lakes of Lévézou
  • Laguiole
  • The Gorges du Tarn
  • Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon
  • Salles-Curan and the Lac de Pareloup
  • Salvagnac-Cajarc
  • Roquefort-sur-Soulzon
  • Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance, classed as a historic area with the "Feral child": Victor of Aveyron
  • Peyrusse-le-Roc
  • Grotto of Foissac
  • The Basin of Decazeville (Decazeville, Aubin, Cransac, Firmi and Viviez) with old coal mines.
  • Societies

  • Central Agricultural Society of Aveyron, founded in 1798
  • Society of letters, sciences and arts of Aveyron, founded in 1836
  • Notable people linked to the department

  • Déodat Alaus, master mason of the 15th century, builder of the city ramparts of the Templars and Hospitallers city of Larzac
  • Ambrose Crozot, painter, born in Rodez at the end of the 17th century
  • Denis Auguste Affre, Archbishop of Paris (1793-1848)
  • Georges d'Armagnac, Bishop of Avignon, cardinal and Bishop of Rodez (died in 1585)
  • Marie-Auguste de Balsac, high functionary
  • Louis Balsan, archaeologist, caver, one of the last great disciples of Martel (1903-1988)
  • Adolphe de Barrau, naturalist (1803-1884)
  • Hippolyte de Barrau, founder of the Society of Letters, scholar (1794-1863)
  • Justin Bessou, Occitan poet (1845-1918)
  • Adolphe Boisse, engineer and politician (1810-1896)
  • Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald, philosopher (1754-1840)
  • Louis-Jacques Maurice de Bonald, bishop (1787-1870)
  • Émile Borel, mathematician (1871-1956)
  • José Bové, anti-globalizationist, MEP since 2009, farmer, activist and former spokesman of french farmers union Confédération paysanne, peasant in the cause of Larzac (1953 -)
  • Michel Bras (1946 -), great French chef.
  • Jean Carrier, clergyman of the 15th century, the last supporter and successor of the Antipope Benedict XIII under the name of Benedict XIV
  • Edouard de Castelnau, General (1851-1944)
  • Marc Cenci, former president of the Regional Council of Midi-Pyrénées, former mayor of Rodez (1936 -)
  • Hippolyte Coste, botanist (1858-1924)
  • Jean-Louis Cromières, artisan farmer who "revived" the Laguiole knife
  • François d'Estaing, Bishop of Rodez (1501-1529)
  • François Fabié, poet (1846-1926)
  • Jean-Henri Fabre, French entomologist and writer (1823-1915)
  • Robert Fabre, founder of the Movement of Radicals of the left, Ombudsman (1915-2006)
  • Maurice Fenaille, patron (1855-1937)
  • Denis-Luc Frayssinous, bishop and tutor of the Dauphin
  • Antoine Bernardin Fualdes, prosecutor, assassinated (1761-1817)
  • Gustave Garrigou, winner of the Tour de France in 1911, born in Vabre-Tizac
  • Alexandre Geniez, racing cyclist
  • Charles Girou de Buzareingues, agronomist and philosopher
  • Jacques d'Izarn Valady, officer, deputy, shot (1766-1793)
  • Guy Lacombe, football coach (1955-)
  • Amédée-Jean-Baptiste Latieule, Bishop of Vannes (1838-1903)
  • Jean-Claude Luche, Chairman of the General Council of Aveyron
  • Cardinal Marty, Archbishop of Paris (1904-1994)
  • Amans-Alexis Monteil, historian (1769-1850)
  • Antoine de Morlhon, bishop (1753-1828)
  • Auguste de Morlhon, bishop (1799-1862)
  • Alain Peyrefitte, writer, minister, member of the Académie française (1925-1999)
  • Pierre Poujade, politician, was born and lived in Labastide l'Evêque
  • Denys Puech, sculptor, director of the Villa Medicis (1854-1942)
  • Jean Puech, former President of the General Council of Aveyron, Senator, and former minister (1942 -)
  • Jacques Puel, Ruthénois physician specializing in cardiothoracic surgery (1949-2008)
  • Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, historian, philosopher (1713-1796)
  • Emilie de Rodat, founder of the congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Villefranche (1787-1852)
  • Richard Sainct, motorcycle rider (1970-2004)
  • Pierre Frédéric Sarrus, mathematician (1798-1861)
  • Pierre Soulages, Painter (1919-)
  • Jean Verdier, Cardinal Archbishop of Paris (1864-1940)
  • Eugene Viala, poet, painter, writer (1859-1913)
  • Auguste Denayrouze, Scientist, Inventor, writer (1837-1883)
  • Gaëtan Roussel, songwriter (1972-)
  • Father Aimé Vayssier, ecclesiastical bachelor of letters, author of the French patois dictionary of the department of Aveyron (1821-1875)
  • Dom Pierre Guérin, ecclesiastic from Nantes, Rouergat poet (1608-1698)
  • Jules Merviel, popular cyclist of the 1930s, born in Saint-Beauzély (1906-1976)
  • Bertrand Delanoe, French politician and Mayor of Paris (1950-)
  • Cyril Lignac, French chef and TV host
  • Jean Boudou, Occitan writer born in Crespin (home of Joan Bodon)
  • Bernard Laporte, rugby coach (1964-)
  • References

    Aveyron Wikipedia

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