The bastides in Rouergue

The Rignac Area is ideally located for visiting the Aveyron district as well as the nearby Tarn and Lot districts. Here are some of the sites we recommend.


26 km – 35 min from Rignac

We call « Bastide » those cities which were created during the thirteenth century. They all respond to certain criterias. The most important and obvious one is the main square. It is literally the center of the Bastide, and all the streets converge to it. The houses are separated by the streets, that was made on purpose in order to prevent arson.

Villefranche-de-Rouergue is one of the most important bastides of the region with its exceptional urbanistic plan. It was founded in 1252 by Alphonse de Poitiers (heir of the Count of Toulouse and King Saint Louis' brother). The streets and the gothic houses give you the impression to go way back to the past. There are several sites worth visiting: The Notre Dame Square and its church, the baroque chapel of black penitents, the cloister of the Saint Sauveur Charterhouse, the Urbain Cabrol Museum and the Saint Jean d'Aigremont Ordeal which gives you a panoramic view over the city.


We advise you  :

  • To go there on Thursday mornings for the weekly market. It is considered as one of the most beautiful in Aveyron

Not far away  :

  • Loc-Dieu Abbey




29 km - 35 min from Rignac

This village has been classified on « the most beautiful villages in France » list. It is a very well planned city, and it has a very well preserved heritage. This bastide has been created in 1281 and it kept its main square with its arcades, the Saint Christophe church, the timbered houses and a few remains of the fortifications. Passing by the little streets and the « tour de ville » (surrounding road), we can imagine its brilliant past. It was a major place for handcraft and commercial exchanges. Sauveterre de Rouergue is also an important place for art trades. The medieval city can count with about twenty creators, such as leather workers, gastronomy and knife creators



We advise you :

  • to get the visit plan of the site at the tourist office
  • to do an audio-guided tour of Sauveterre (available at the tourist office)
  • to go for the « oreilles en Ballade »
  • to do a guided tour of the city (groups or individuals on booking)


Not far away :

  • Château du Bosc (the Toulouse-Lautrec family castle) in Camjac
  • The animal park of Pradinas
  • The canning factory La Naucelloise Opened since 1966 in Naucelle-Gare




49 km - 56 min from Rignac

Located at the beginning of the Gorges of the Aveyron, Najac, another « Most beautiful Village in France », is also classified amongst the « Great sites of the Midi-Pyrénées region » and listed as a « green station ». The village of Najac extends itself on top of a rock, which is one of the main characteristics of medieval cities at the time. Its long one way street will lead you to an impressive royal fortress, peaking at 200 meters above the river. It is a perfect example of military art during the thirteenth century. The Saint Jean church and the Saint Barthelme Hospital are still here to tell us a little more about the history of this 800 inhabitants village.



We advise you :

  • to do a guided tour of the village and the royal fortress
  • to go to the AAGAC center, a natural leisure center for activities such as canoe, kayak, rafting, climbing,...




24 km – 27 min from Rignac

This city was founded by the Church in year 1053, before becoming a bastide about 200 years later. It kept its medieval parts intact. We can admire the Romanesque church, which is a copy of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. It was enlarged by a gothic nave. The high gate (and its impressive dungeon) and the Cardalhac gate were part of the former surrounding fortified walls of the city.



We advise you :

  • to visit the Jean-Marie Perrier photograph Museum (Maison de la Photo de Jean-Marie Perrier)

Not far away :

  • The Foissac Caves



17 km – 23 min from Rignac

Founded by Benedictine monks during the eleventh century, Rieupeyroux is located in the center of the Ségala region. You can find the Saint Martial church which still has its Romanesque pillars. The Saint Jean-Baptiste Chapel offers you a magnificent landscape over the mountains of Aubrac, Cantal, Cévennes and the Pyrénées.


We adivse you :

  • to visit the Laboratories of the Haut-Ségala, specialised in biological and natural cosmetic products




25 km - 30 min from Rignac

As its name indicates, this bastide was created, in the thirteenth by Raymond de Calmont, Bishop of Rodez (Evêque means Bishop in french), who wanted to compete with Villefranche-de-Rouergue.

The Saint Jean-Baptiste church (built between the thirteenth and fifteenth century) has an important bell-tower gate, a flamboyant gothic chorus, and a relic of saint Dalmas.

la bastide l'Eveque


We advise you :

  • to visit the martinet de la Ramonde, a watermill forging copper until the 1850's. It has been fully restored by volunteers.