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Aveyron Facts

- Surface area:
8,735km2
- Elevation:
  144 m (472 ft.) to
   1,463 m (4799 ft.)
- Land use:
  Farming, 59%
   Forest, 30%
- Population:
  roughly 280,000
- Population density:
  Aveyron 31/km2
   France: 112/km2
- The highest density of
   paved roads in all of
   France:
  66,600 kms!!
 

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Estaing


Estaing, awarded the title of one of the "most beautiful villages of France", is located around 25 kilometres north of Rodez. Estaing is definitely a picture-postcard village, in a lovely setting at the base of the Aubrac mountains, at the mouth of the Lot River gorges, in the northern part of Aveyron.

Being on the route of one of the important pilgrim trails to Santiago de Compostela, in part because the relics of St Fleuret are held in the village church, Estaing is a 'not-to-miss'. The church was built in the 15th century on the site of an older priory, and also holds two or three important works of art, in addition to the 15th century stone cross outside the church. Unusual and to look for are its steeple and a bell-tower.

Above the village, one can see the Château of the Estaing family, of the 15th century, currently owned by ex-President (of France) Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Estaing itself is a very attractive medieval town, with lots of fine Medieval and Renaissance style houses. Other notable attractions in the village are a lovely wrought iron cross and gothic stone bride across the Lot river. The bridge was built in the 16th century and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella. The Renaissance Collège originally built to house six priests from the Saint-Jean fraternity. The much smaller River Cussane meets the Lot on the edge of town. Originally four medieval bridges crossed this river allowing villagers to get to their gardens on the left bank. Two of these bridges still remain.