Larzac

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This article is about the plateau. For the commune, see Larzac, Dordogne.
Typical Larzac landscape.
The Cougouille mount, the highest point on the Larzac plateau (912 m / 2992 ft above sea level).
Typical Larzac landscape.
Dolomitic rock on the plateau.
Cross on the Larzac plateau between Les Rives and La Bastide des Fonts.
Cowslips and various kinds of orchids are widespread on the Larzac area.

The Causse du Larzac is a limestone karst plateau in the south of the Massif Central, France, situated between Millau (Aveyron) and Lodève (Hérault). It is an agricultural area, where sheep are bred to produce milk for Roquefort cheese.

Geography[edit]

The communes of the Larzac are:

History[edit]

Main article: Fight for the Larzac

In October 1970, Michel Debré, the French Minister of Defense, decided for strategic purposes to expand a military camp outside the village of La Cavalerie in the French département of Aveyron, from 30 km² to 170 km², without consulting the local population. Local farmers objected and decided to fight against the project, through actions such as occupation of empty farms purchased by the Army in anticipation of this expansion. French syndicalist and peasant activist José Bové moved there during this period in support of the protests. Communards from the nearby Community of the Ark, led by the pacifist Lanza del Vasto, were also very active in opposition to the camp. The workers of the occupied and self-managed Lip factory also took part in the movement.[1]

Following ten years of nonviolent resistance, the plan was cancelled by President François Mitterrand after his election in 1981.

Because of its history it was chosen as the site of a massive meeting against the World Trade Organization which took place in August 2003.[2] José Bové currently resides in Larzac - he secured nearly 500,000 votes in the 2007 presidential elections.

Sights[edit]

Five medieval fortified villages, related to the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller are located on the Larzac plateau:

References[edit]

Coordinates: 43°59′21″N 3°11′00″E / 43.98917°N 3.18333°E / 43.98917; 3.18333