Cordes sur Ciel, Tarn, France

Historic hill top village on walking holiday in south west France

Cordes sur Ciel is one of the most remarkable medieval villages in France, if not Europe, due to its exceptional site on top of a hill overlooking the Cerou Valley and its preserved architectural heritage. This fascinating settlement is a great site rising towards the sky when approaching on our guided walking holiday in France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel has been elected “France's Favourite Village 2014” by the French population in the competition organised by France 2 (TV channel) with 22 villages from the French regions taking part.

The village of Cordes sur ciel, located in the Tarn department in the Midi Pyrenees, was created in 1222 by the Comte de Toulouse. It was created to assemble a sparse population which had partly been chased from the fort of Saint Marcel, burnt down by the troops of Simon de Monfort in 1215, during the first crusade of the northern Barons against the Albigeois. By the the time of the second crusade, the solid ramparts of Cordes repelled the invaders. Cordes sur Ciel became part of the kingdom of France in 1370 through family ties, having never been conquered, after which a charter gave the locals the right to build houses within the protected walls. The fronts of a number of magnificent houses still exist from this time.

When you walk along the alleyways of this delightful village you have a strong sense of walking through the ages with the sculpted facades of its secular houses. It is popular with tourists and is often used as a stop over on the long distance walking trail of Saint Jacques de Compostelle through France and Spain.

Cordes sur Ciel has four surrounding walls and many gates such as the porte des Ormeaux and the Porte de l'Horloge. It contains many fine buildings and historic monuments which you can discover on our French walking holidays in the Tarn and Aveyron area - Historic Villages & Valleys of the Tarn - Self Catering at Le Claouzet

Cordes sur Ciel has a Well located in its covered hall which is more than 100m deep. The house Grand Veneur is a large sandstone house built on three levels and highly decorated with sculptures. It is used as the Mairie (town hall). The church of Saint Michel is of gothic style and was built in the main during the 13th century. One of the most beautiful spots outside of the village is a place called "Pied Haut" which allows a global view of the bastide. On our guided walking walking holiday in France in this beautiful region, you'll experience this delightful view for yourself.


More information on the Tarn and Aveyron region

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