The CAUSSE COMTAL
(Altitude around 600m)
This karstic plateau was formed by the marine sediments from the secondary Era. These steppe landscapes punctuated by juniper bushes alternate with green meadows (pradas) set on calcareous clay outcrops. To the curious traveller, this karstic relief displays areas of hollows (dolines), enclosed fields with clay layered soil ideal for cultures, outcrops and ruin-like relief (Rodelle, Salles-la-Sources), gorges and canyons (more specifically the Dourdou valley), a few swallow holes and subterranean rivers, springs and resurgence (waterfalls of Muret-le-Château and Salles-la-Source).
Since the ancient times, this land made of poor soil is the land of the sheep (feda) except on the calcareous and clay outcrops (aubugas) where the noble cereals, fodder crops and cow breeding thrive. Its human occupation dates back from Prehistory. This is a land rich in megaliths, more specifically dolmen (pèiras levadas), a few of which have been restored.
The rural settlements, nowadays much scattered, hold their characteristics from the Causse typical architecture: main body of farm quite imposing at times, some monumental sheepfold, pigeon-towers, bread-ovens still covered with lauzes, fortified Cistercian granary-towers (La Vayssière), medieval dens and their military architecture often remodelled during Renaissance (Billorgues, Cadayrac, Lagarde).