Path of the canon Hippolyte Coste
Built in the time of the Hospitaller knights, the granary-tower of Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux is the starting point of this loop inside a sumptuous agropastoral landscape. Formed by the karst erosion, the cirque of St-Paul-des-Fonts (village with a museum dedicated to the botanist Hippolyte Coste) offers you a breathtaking sight.
The lavogne (cobbled watering place)of Font Rome
This lavogne (cobbled watering place) of Font Rome, built in 1910 near tank wells is was first situated on a waterproof clay background. Then, it was built of stones all around and cemented. So this type offers the advantage of forming a passage that resists the trampling of sheep, and the gentle slope of the surrounding area limits the risk of slipping and falling of the animals. It is supplied by rainwater.
Cirque of St-Paul-des-Fonts
The cirque of St-Paul-des-Fonts is a semi-circular natural cirque formed by karst erosion.
Botanical Museum Hippolyte Coste
Established on the ground floor of the presbytery adjoining the church of Saint-Paul-des-Fonts, the botanical space is dedicated to the life and work of the canon Hippolyte Coste who shared his life between the duties of his ministry and his passion for botany.
This rouergate of modest peasant origins, which has been nicknamed "le curé des fleurs" (the priest of the flowers), knew how to rise in the yard of the greatest botanists by realizing in particular the remarkable and masterful «Flore descriptive et illustrée de la France, de la Corse et des contrées limitrophes» (1901 – 1906) which constitutes its masterpiece, known and still recognized today at the European scale.
With this museum Saint-Paul-des-Fonts becomes an unmissable destination for all those who wish to learn by discovering the botanical wealth of the Larzac and Aveyron.
Open from april to septembre. Free entrance.
- From the tower, take the small road in direction of Mas Baldy on 150 meters, then turn left on a wide farm road.
- Before the first important fork, turn right. After the cobbled watering place (“lavogne”), take the direction of Mas Baldy. In the hamlet, continue on the small road that draws a bend to the left on 800 meters.
- At the exit of a bend, veer right on a path that meets a hallow path lined with boxwood hedges. It leads to the heights of the cirque of Saint-Paul-des-Fonts (view on the whole cirque and village). Go down the gravel path that zigzags on the wooded slope. Cross over the stream and continue towards the center of the village of Saint-Paul des Fonts (return).
- 100 meters before the church, climb left to the tank, then continue along the path that rises in laces towards the plateau (panorama of St. Paul and the Annoux Valley).
- On the causse (view on the Vialette farm, vestige of the old domain dependent of the Commandery of Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon), turn left on the road for 500 meters, then go on the right track.
- 1 kilometer before the D23 road, turn left and head towards the pine woods (follow the signs). Walk around the pine wood to the right.
- At the picnic area, take the path to go out of the wood and meet on west the D23 road, at the cobbled watering place. Take the D23 road to the left to return to Viala du Pas de Jaux.
From 1 to 5 : white and red signs (GR71 C)
From 5 to 1 : yellow signs
Difficulty : steep climb between 4 and 5.
Don't forget binoculars and water.
Tourist Office Larzac et Vallées
Place du Claux, 12230 NANT
Located on the ground floor of the Town Hall (mansion of the 18th century), The Tourist Office welcomes you all year and offers tourist information on the Larzac and its valleys, the department of Aveyron, and also on neighboring counties. Free Wifi access.
Opening hours :
From Novembre to February: Tuesday morning 9:00-12:30
March and October : Tuesday to Friday 9:00-12:30
April : Tuesday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
May, June : Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
July and August : every day 10:00-12:30 and 14:30-18:00
September : Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
Access and parking
The village of Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux, is situated at 36km from Millau by D809 and D23.
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What to see
His canon is known for his works about french flora. At Saint-Paul des Fonts, he made botanical research and wrote the "Flore de France". The botanical area presents the enormous work of Hippolyte Coste in botany. Saint-Paul des Fonts, in the memory of the "flower priest", is an unmissable place for all those who want to learn and recharge their batteries while discovering the botanical richness of the Larzac and the Aveyron;
What to see